Insecticidal Activities and GC-MS Analysis of the Selected Family Members of Meliaceae Used Traditionally as Insecticides

Kolwane Calphonia Shilaluke, Annah Ntsamaeeng Moteetee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The environmental and health risks associated with synthetic pesticides have increased the demand for botanical insecticides as safer and biodegradable alternatives to control insect pests in agriculture. Hence in this study, five Meliaceae species were evaluated for their insecticidal activities against the Spodoptera frugiperda and the Plutella xylostella larvae, as well as their chemical constituents. Repellence, feeding deterrence, and topical application bioassays were employed to evaluate their insecticidal activities. GC-MS analysis was performed to identify chemical compounds present in each plant. The repellence bioassay indicated that Melia azedarach extracts exhibited the highest repellence percentage against S. frugiperda (95%) and P. xylostella (90%). The feeding deterrence bioassay showed that M. azedarach and Trichilia dregeana extracts displayed excellent antifeeding activity against the S. frugiperda (deterrent coefficient, 83.95) and P. xylostella (deterrent coefficient, 112.25), respectively. The topical application bioassay demonstrated that Ekebergia capensis extracts had the highest larval mortality against S. frugiperda (LD50 0.14 mg/kg). Conversely, M. azedarach extracts showed the highest larval mortality against P. xylostella (LD50 0.14 mg/kg). GC-MS analysis revealed that all plant extracts had compounds belonging to the two noteworthy groups (phenols and terpenes), which possess insecticidal properties. Overall, this study lends scientific credence to the folkloric use of Meliaceae species as potential biocontrol agents against insect pests.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3046
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Meliaceae
  • antifeedants
  • botanical insecticides
  • insect pests
  • synthetic pesticides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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