Aqueous extract of pequi fruit to control Spodoptera frugiperda in corn

ABSTRACT: Pequi fruit peels contain steroids, triterpenes, flavonoids, tannins, and saponins, compounds that are potentially useful for integrated pest management. As such, the aim of this study was to evaluate the insecticidal activity of aqueous extracts of pequi fruit peels on Spodoptera frugiperda. Field-grown corn plants of the cultivar ‘Al Alvaré’ were sprayed with extract concentrations of 0.8%, 2.5%, 5%, and 10% (v/v) 40 and 47 days after germination. The pequi peels were chopped, oven dried (65°C for 72 hours), and ground in a grinding mill. The resulting powder was used to prepare a base-line extract (10%), and the other concentrations evaluated were prepared by diluting this extract. The intensity of the damage caused by S. frugiperda caterpillars was evaluated 43, 46, 50, and 53 days after germination, using a visual scoring scale. Application of the extract decreased the amount of damage caused by the caterpillars. The 5% extract concentration was the most effective, while the 10% extract concentration showed evidence of phytotoxicity after the second spraying. These results suggest that the pequi extract is toxic to the S. frugiperda caterpillars and can be used for the management of this pest.