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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #390671

Research Project: Mitigation of Invasive Pest Threats to U.S. Subtropical Agriculture

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: Toxicity of plant essential oils on Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa.

item Yang, Xiangbing
item Tabanca, Nurhayat
item Kendra, Paul

Submitted to: Entomological Society of America, Southwestern and Southeastern Branch
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/18/2022
Publication Date: 3/25/2022
Citation: Yang, X., Tabanca, N., and P.E. Kendra. 2022. Toxicity of plant essential oils against Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa. Virtual Annual meeting of Southeastern Branch of Entomological Society of America. March 25-April 29, 2022. (Available at:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa, is a major pest of over 100 host species in Florida, the Caribbean islands and countries in Central America. Female A. suspensa infest fruits such as guava and citrus, making them market unacceptable. Current management of this pest relies on insecticidal bait sprays in commercial groves. However, intensive use of insecticides may have detrimental consequences, including environmental contamination, toxicity to non-target organisms, and an increase in insecticide resistance in fruit fly populations. Some plant extracted essential oils (EO) have demonstrated insecticidal activity, and therefore are a promising, less deleterious alternative to conventional synthetic insecticides. In this study, nine EOs from Cupressaceae, Zygophyllaceae, Myrtaceae, Lamiaceae, Asteraceae, and Apiaceae were evaluated to determine their contact toxicity against female A. suspensa under laboratory conditions. The results showed that all EOs were effective against A. suspensa, with varied median lethal dosage levels. In particular, results indicated that anisole (an EO extracted from Apiaceae) was not only effective against A. suspensa via contact, but also showed strong fumigation and residual effects. Our study demonstrated that the tested EOs have potential applications as environmentally-friendly alternatives to conventional insecticides for control of Caribbean fruit fly.