Central Silk Board, B. T. M. Layout, Madiwala, Bangalore 560 068,
The search for alternative ways of controlling sericultural pests has led to the investigation of plant sources for naturally occurring compounds which may have Insect growth regulatory, feeding deterrency, repellency and confusantcy characteristics. More than 2000 species of the families Asteraceae, Fabaceae and Euphorbiaceae are known that possess some insecticidal activity. Plants with insecticidal properties found in India are reported. But to use them it is necessary to conduct an analysis of the risks to the environment and to human health. Various parts of rotenone, pyrethrum, sabadilla, ryania and neem are often used to minimize pest population. Recently several other plants viz. Pongamia, Indian privet, Adathoda, Chrysanthemum, Turmeric, Onion, Garlic, Tobacco, Basili, Custard apple, Ginger and some other plants have been screened and their efficacy has been tested. The efficacy of leaf extracts of basil (Ocimum basilicum), bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina), lemon grass (Cymbopogen citratus), and Chenopodium ambroissoides was investigated for its insecticidal and ovicidal activity against coleopteran bruchids. Several citrus limonoids and limonin derivatives have been found to be insect antifeedants. Among all the plant originated insecticides, neem (Azadirachta indica, A. juss) is known to contain diverse array of biologically active principles of which azadirachtin (a tetranortriterpenoid) is the best known derivatives which is used in sericulture to control various pests. Botanical insecticides are prepared in the form of the crude plant material, extracts or resins. This paper includes the plants that have been reported to be insecticidal against the pests, which visit seri-ecosystem and damage the silkworm and its host plants.