Azadirex (azadirachtin and other biologically active extracts from neem trees) has been shown to have considerable potential to be used in integrated pest management systems based on its growth regulator/insecticide properties. Less well known are the antifeedant properties. The feeding-deterrent properties of a commercial azadirex formulation (Azatrol EC) were evaluated using both no-choice and choice tests, the American grasshopper, Schistocerca americana (Drury), and four host plants [savoy cabbage, Brassica oleracea variety capitata L.; cos (romaine) lettuce, Lactuca sativa variety longifolia Lam.; sweet orange, Citrus sinensis variety Hamlin L.; and peregrina, Jatropha integerrima Jacq.]. These studies demonstrated that azadirex application can significantly affect the feeding behavior of grasshoppers. Some degree of protection can be afforded to plants that differ markedly in their innate attractiveness to the insect, although the level of protection varies among hosts. The tendency of grasshoppers to sometimes feed on azadirex-treated foliage suggests that it will be difficult to prevent damage from occurring at all times, on all hosts. No evidence of rapid habituation to azadirex was detected. Rapid loss of efficacy was observed under field conditions, suggesting that daily retreatment might be necessary to maintain protection of plants from feeding.
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Vol. 100 • No. 1