Acute toxicities of 34 naturally occurring monoterpenoids were evaluated against 3 important arthropod pest species; the larva of the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte; the adult of the twospotted spider mite. Tetranychus urticae Koch; and the adult house fly. Musca domestica L. Potential larvicidal or acaricidal activities of each monoterpenoid were determined by topical application, leaf-dip method, soil bioassay, and greenhouse pot tests. Phytotoxicity was also tested on a corn plant. Citronellic acid and thymol were the most topically toxic against the house fly, and citronellol and thujone were the most effective on the western corn rootworm. Most of the monoterpenoids were lethal to the twospotted spider mite at high concentrations; carvomenthenol and terpinen-4-ol were especially effective. A wide range of monoterpenoids showed some larvicidal activity against the western corn rootworm in the soil bioassay. Perillaldehyde, the most toxic (LC50 = 3 micrograms/g) in soil, was only 1/3 as toxic as carbofuran, a commercial soil insecticide (LC50 = 1 microgram/g). Selected monoterpenoids also effectively protected corn roots from attack by the western corn rootworm larvae under greenhouse conditions. alpha-Terpineol was the best monoterpenoid in the greenhouse pot test. The acute toxicity of monoterpenoids was low relative to conventional insecticides. Some monoterpenoids were phytotoxic to corn roots and leaves. l-Carvone was the most phytotoxic, whereas pulegone was the safest. The results with thymyl ethyl ether, one of the synthetic derivatives of thymol, showed a potential of derivatization to reduce monoterpenoid phytotoxicity.
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