Effectiveness and safety of some essential oils of aromatic plants on the growth and silk production of the silkworm Bombyx mori L.
Youssef Dewer and Mona M. Mahmoud
There are insect pests of mulberry trees (Morus alba), that need to be controlled to below economic thresholds. Conventional insecticides control them but can have adverse effects on the development and silk production of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori L. This experiment evaluated the effect of the essential oils (EOs) of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and caraway (Carum carvi), against larval instars of silkworm by using a leaf-dipping bioassay. The tested EOs had no adverse effects on the growth rate and silk production of the larvae except at the higher concentrations at which these were slightly decreased in the later development stages. This experiment is one of the first attempts to understand the key role of EOs in regulating insect growth and development although further studies at physiological levels are required. In conclusion, these findings could contribute to the IPM of insect pests on mulberry without adversely affecting the silkworm-breeding industry.