Garden pest rely on their taste and smell to find a certain plant to eat. When adding essential oils on to these plants, this can deter garden pest from feeding. I am an avid gardener who loves to get my hands dirty and reap the benefits from my harvest. Lately, it has been hard to get rid of those pests that are trying to destroy my garden. Doing this research paper has made me understand what essential oils that can get rid of the garden pest, hopefully for good.
In recent years, the use of essential oils (EOs) derived from aromatic plants as low-risk insecticides has increased considerably owing to their popularity with organic growers and environmentally conscious consumers (Regnault-Roger, Vincent & Arnason 2012). EOs have repellent, insecticidal, and growth-reducing effects on a variety of insects. The efficacy of EOs and their constituents varies according to the phytochemical profile of the plant extract and the entomological target. The aromatic characteristics of essential oils provide various functions for the plants including (i) attracting or repelling insects, (ii) protecting themselves from heat or cold; and (iii) utilizing chemical constituents in the oil as defense materials (Koul, Walia & Dhaliwal 2008).
EOs such as oil of thyme, rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), and eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) have anti-feeding or repellent activity. The oil of citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) repels mosquitoes and flies, and garlic (Allium sativum) oil is a deterrent to many insect herbivores (Regnault-Roger, Vincent & Arnason 2012). The best fumigant activities were obtained with EOs of horseradish (Armorica rusticana), anise (P. anisum), and garlic (Allium sativum) oils. Some other essential oils that repel pests are, Peppermint (Mentha piperita) oil repels ants, aphid, cabbage looper, flea beetle, cabbage wood, squash bug and whitefly from plants. Basil (Ocimum Basilicum) oil repels asparagus beetle from plants, Wormwood oil (Artemisia absinthium) repels cabbage maggot, carrot fly, codling moth and mouse from plants (Kowalchick & Hylton 1987), Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) wards off fleas, ants, lice, mosquitoes, ticks and moths, Catnip (Nepeta cateria) essential oil is highly effective for repelling mosquitoes, bees and other flying insects (Koul, Walia & Dhaliwal 2008). Chamomile oil (Chamaemelum nobile) is an effective preventative against various fungal diseases (Schiff 1999). Essential oils derived from eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.) and lemongrass (C. citratus) have also been found effective as animal repellents, antifeedants, insecticides, miticides and antimicrobial product (Koul, Walia & Dhaliwal 2008).
The EO market has had the strongest growth of all the botanical pesticide markets in recent years (Regnault-Roger, Vincent & Arnason 2012). These are currently marketed to horticulturists, greenhouses, and home gardens in the United States and the United Kingdom (Copping, 2009). As previously noted that pesticides derived from plant essential oils do have several important benefits. Due to their volatile nature, there is a much lower level of risk to the environment than with current synthetic pesticides (Koul, Walia & Dhaliwal 2008).
There are opportunities for EO in the developing gardening market like (i) changing consumer preferences towards the use of ‘natural’ over synthetic products; (ii) existence of and growth in niche markets, where quality is more important than price; (iii) strong growth in demand for essential oils and plant extracts; (iv) potential to extend the range of available products including new product development through biotechnology; (v) production of essential oils and plant extracts from low cost developing countries (Koul, Walia & Dhaliwal 2008).
After learning all of this information on EO's and using them as pesticides has allowed me to have a choice in a more natural way of treating my plants instead of using the famous Roundup synthetic brands.