Using Ferula assafoetida essential oil as adult carob moth repellent in Qom pomegranate orchards (Iran)
Carob moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae (Lep.: Pyralidae), is the key pest of pomegranate fruits in most countries like Iran. Chemical insecticides cannot be used for the control of carob moth because they have biological and behavioral traits. Other control methods have no sufficient efficiency. So it is necessary to use new methods. Some pest control management such as application of semiochemicals like repellents are common practices. Ferula assafoetida essential oil is a botanical material and its
repellency on some pests is proved under laboratory conditions. In this research, its repellency was studied on adult carob moth, in Qom pomegranate orchards, during a two farming seasons study (2007
- 2008). Two orchards (treatment and control) were selected in about 3 km distances from each other. In treatment and control plots, F. assafoetida essential oil and ethanol (solvent) were used, respectively. During the farming season, number of rotten pomegranates of treatment and control trees were counted and removed weekly. The percentage of rotten pomegranates on trees was calculated at the end of the season. Two sample t-test showed significant differences between weekly (T = 2.22, df = 38, P = 0.032), (T = 3.11, df = 58, P = 0.003) and end of the season (T = 2.97, df = 16, P = 0.012), (T = 3.54, df = 48, P = 0.001) data of treatment and control orchards in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Number of rotten pomegranates of treatments was lower than control. Comparison of treatment and control orchards data showed damage lessening in treatment plot. Laboratory results proved repellency effect of F.
assafoetida essential oil on adult carob moth in orchard conditions.
Key words: Carob moth, semiochemicals, Ferula assafoetida essential oil, repellency, Iran.