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Behavioral and electroantennogram responses of plum curculio, Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), adults were tested for several methanolic plant extracts and organically approved insecticides. Plant extracts were evaluated for their potential as antifeedants or oviposition deterrents. These extract responses were also compared to those elicited by the non-neurotoxic, organic irritant-insecticide kaolin clay. Both sexes of plum curculio exhibited antennal response as measured by electroantennogram, which ranged from 0.2 to 1.1 mV, to plant extracts and the organic irritant/insecticide, with the greatest response to the extract of rough cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium L. (1.1 mV). No choice tests were conducted to compare feeding and oviposition by plum curculio on untreated apples or on apples treated with one of the extracts or the insecticide. The insecticide pyrethrum and extracts of X. strumarium and greater burdock, Arctium lappa L., significantly reduced feeding. Also, pyrethrum, A. lappa, Humulus lupulus L. (common hop), X. strumarium, and Verbascum songaricum Schrenk extracts completely inhibited egg deposition. In no-choice assays, the effects of kaolin clay with incorporated plant extracts on plum curculio feeding and oviposition were monitored as complementary tests. A. lappa—kaolin, H. lupulus—kaolin, and X. strumarium—kaolin mixtures significantly reduced the feeding of plum curculio compared to the control or kaolin clay alone. Each of the plant extract—kaolin mixtures evaluated, with the exception of Bifora radians Bieberstein (wild bishop), completely inhibited plum curculio oviposition as compared to controls.
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