Laboratory bioassays were carried out to evaluate the effect of silica gel enhanced with the essential oil (EO) of Juniperus oxycedrus L. ssp. oxycedrus (Pinales: Cupressaceae) (derived from berry specimens from Greece) against adults of Sitophilus oryzae (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). For that purpose, a dry mixture consisting of 500 mg of silica gel that had absorbed 2.18 mg of EO (total weight: 502.18 mg) was tested at three doses; 0.125, 0.250, and 0.5 g/kg of wheat, corresponding to 125, 250, and 500 ppm, respectively, and silica gel alone at 0.5 g/kg of wheat corresponding to 500 ppm, at different exposure intervals (24 and 48 h and 7 and 14 d for S. oryzae; 24 and 48 h and 7, 14, and 21 d for T. confusum). The chemical content of the specific EO was determined by gas chromatography (GC)-mass spectrometry (MS) analyses indicating the presence of 31 constituents with myrcene and germacrene-D being the predominant compounds. The bioactivity results for S. oryzae indicated that 48 h of exposure in wheat resulted in an 82% mortality for treatment with 500 ppm of the enhanced silica gel. For 7 d of exposure, 100 and 98% of S. oryzae adults died when they were treated with 500 and 250 ppm of enhanced silica gel, respectively. At 14 d of exposure, all adults died both at 250 and 500 ppm of enhanced silica gel. At 48 h, 7 and 14 d of exposure significantly less S. oryzae adults died in wheat treated with silica gel alone than at 250 or 500 ppm of enhanced silica gel. In the case of T. confusum, at 7 d of exposure, mortality in wheat treated with silica gel only was significantly higher in comparison to the other treatments. At the 14 d of exposure mortality in wheat treated with 500 ppm of silica gel alone was significantly higher than 125 and 250 ppm of the enhanced silica gel. Similar trends were also noted at 21 d of exposure, indicating that there is no enhancement effect from the addition of the EO. Results herein suggest that the simultaneous use of silica gel and J. oxycedrus ssp. oxycedrus EO enhances significantly its activity against S. oryzae.
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