Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection

, Volume 125, Issue 4, pp 377–387 | Cite as

Chemical composition, toxic and development- and reproduction-inhibiting effects of some essential oils against Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acarina: Tetranychidae) as fumigants

  • Emine Topuz
  • Nilgun Madanlar
  • Fedai ErlerEmail author
Original Article


The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae), is one of the most serious pests of many crops both indoors and outdoors in south-western Turkey (Antalya). In the present study, essential oils (EOs) from five medicinal and aromatic plants [Mentha pulegium L. (Labiatae), Foeniculum vulgare Mill. (Umbelliferae), Pistacia terebinthus L., Schinus molle L. (Anacardiaceae) and Vitex agnus-castus L. (Verbenaceae)] were tested for their fumigant toxic and development- and reproduction-inhibiting effects against the pest under in vivo conditions. In the fumigant toxicity assays, newly emerged (0–24 h) adult females and larvae and 0-24-h-old eggs of the mite were exposed to four different concentrations of each EO for 12 h in separate desiccators (10 L) used as test chambers. In the development- and reproduction-inhibiting assays, newly emerged (0–24 h) female deutonymphs of the mite were separately exposed to a lower concentration (0.5 µL/L for M. pulegium, 2 µL/L for F. vulgare, 2.5 µL/L for P. terebinthus and 10 µL/L for V. agnus-castus and S. molle) of each EO in desiccators for 12 h, and then, 20 survivors from each EO were individually maintained on cotton leaf discs to obtain data on some parameters (adult emergence rate, number of eggs per female, egg-hatching rate, etc.) until there are no living individuals. The results from the study indicated that all the EOs had fumigant effect against the mite in varying degrees. M. pulegium was found to be the most toxic oil against all the biological stages tested (LC50 = 0.60 µL/L air for eggs, 0.60 µL/L air for larvae and 0.49 µL/L air for adult females), followed by F. vulgare (LC50 = 2.67 µL/L air for eggs and adult females, and 2.56 µL/L air for larvae). M. pulegium EO also had the highest development- and reproduction-inhibiting effect on the pest. Fecundity was reduced by 55.9% and egg hatching was inhibited by 29.9% in survivors of deutonymphs of T. urticae fumigated with M. pulegium EO at 0.5 µL/L air for 12 h. In the phytotoxicity assays with tomato, cucumber, Phaseolus and eggplant seedlings, scattered necrotic spots and slight chlorosis only on the young foliage of cucumber seedlings exposed to M. pulegium EO at the highest concentration for 12 h were visual symptoms of phytotoxicity. Overall results indicate that M. pulegium EO can be used in the management of T. urticae in greenhouses as a fumigant for both toxic and development- and reproduction-inhibiting effects.


Essential oil, two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Fumigant toxicity Development- and reproduction-inhibiting effect 



This research was carried out in Batı-Akdeniz Agricultural Research Institute (BATEM), Antalya, TURKEY. The authors thank Dr. Ramazan Süleyman Göktürk (Department of Biology, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey) for identification of the plant species, Dr. Hilal Şahin Nadeem (Department of Food Engineering, Adnan Menderes University, Aydın, Turkey) for essential oil analyses and Dr. Ömür Baysal (Department of Molecular Biology and Genetic, Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Mugla, Turkey) for critical review of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies requiring ethical approval.


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Phytomedizinische Gesellschaft 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Protection DepartmentBatı Akdeniz Agricultural Research Institute (BATEM)AntalyaTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of AgricultureEge UniversityIzmirTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of AgricultureAkdeniz UniversityAntalyaTurkey

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