The damage caused by spittlebugs varies according to the species of grass, and the losses can reach alarming levels. Measures for population control are currently restricted to the use of resistant grasses and the diversification of pastures. Therefore, alternative control measures are necessary, such as the use of botanical insecticides. The aim of this study was to evaluate the insecticidal activities of thymol, carvacrol, eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, and trans-anethole on Mahanarva spectabilis
eggs, nymphs, and adults under laboratory conditions. In the egg tests, treatments with eugenol, carvacrol, and thymol showed the highest mortalities, presenting efficiencies higher than 85% after 48 h of application. In the nymph tests, the treatments with thymol and carvacrol at 2.5% and eugenol at 2.0% and 2.5% showed intermediate efficiencies, with values above 61%. The highest mortality was observed in the treatment with trans-anethole at 2.5%, with an efficiency of 95%. In the tests with adults, only treatment with trans-anethole at 2.5% obtained an efficiency reaching 90%; in the other treatments, the efficiency did not exceed 51%. These results showed that, at these concentrations, trans-anethole presents a high rate of insecticidal activity on M. spectabilis
nymphs and adults and, therefore, is recommended as a potential natural insecticide for the control of this pest.
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