SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.8 número3Relación de la temperatura y humedad relativa con el brote del hongo Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vanillaeSimulación del impacto del impuesto al refresco en economías rurales de México: aplicación en un caso de estudio índice de autoresíndice de assuntospesquisa de artigos
Home Pagelista alfabética de periódicos  

Serviços Personalizados




Links relacionados

  • Não possue artigos similaresSimilares em SciELO


Revista mexicana de ciencias agrícolas

versão impressa ISSN 2007-0934

Rev. Mex. Cienc. Agríc vol.8 no.3 Texcoco Abr./Mai. 2017 

Investigation notes

Effectiveness of vegetable powders on adults of Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky Coleoptera: Curculionidae

Héctor Quiñones Dena1  §  

Mariano Flores Davila2  § 

Ernesto Cerna Chávez2 

Luis Alberto Aguirre Uribe2 

Jerónimo Landeros Flores2 

Yisa María Ochoa Fuentes2 

Gustavo Alberto Frías Treviño2 

1Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro. Buenavista, Saltillo, Coahuila. CP. 25315. Tel. y Fax. (844) 4110226.

2Departamento de Parasitología, Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro. Buenavista, Saltillo, Coahuila. CP. 25315. Tel. y Fax. (844) 4110226. 2Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro. Buenavista, Saltillo, Coahuila. CP. 25315. Tel. y Fax. (844) 4110226.


Maize is the most important crop in Mexico due to its varied uses, such as food for human and animal consumption, extraction of oils and other derivatives, among others. This crop, like many others, presents phytosanitary problems of diseases and pests, among which is the corn weevil (Sitophilus zeamais), considered as one of the most important stored grain pests. Chemical insecticides have been used for its control, which has caused problems of resistance, contamination of the environment and residues in stored foods. An alternative to this problem is the use of biorrational products derived from plants, which are generally biodegradable, do not produce ecosystem disequilibrium nor effects to health. In this investigation, nine plant powders were evaluated on the mortality of S. zeamais adults, in concentration of 1, 2 and 3 g of each of them for each 0.5 k of corn grains. A completely randomized design with 10 treatments and three replicates was used. The highest mortality was obtained with the treatment based on three grams for all treatments, with black pepper and ruda having the highest mortality rates with 68.84 and 60.42%, respectively, while the other treatments showed mortalities less than 50%.

Keywords: botanical insecticides; corn weevil; stored grains; vegetable powders


El maíz es el cultivo de mayor importancia en México debido a sus variados usos, tales como alimento para consumo humano y animal, extracción de aceites y otros derivados, entre otros. Este cultivo al igual que muchos otros, presenta problemas fitosanitarios de enfermedades y plagas entre las cuales destaca el gorgojo del maíz (Sitophilus zeamais), considerada una de las plagas más importantes de grano almacenado. Para su control se han utilizado insecticidas químicos, lo cual ha ocasionado problemas de resistencia, contaminación del ambiente y residuos en alimentos almacenados. Una alternativa a este problema es el uso de productos biorracionales derivados de plantas, que generalmente son biodegradables, no producen desequilibrio en el ecosistema ni efectos a la salud. En la presente investigación se evaluaron nueve polvos vegetales sobre la mortalidad de adultos de S. zeamais, en concentración de 1, 2 y 3 g de cada uno de ellos por cada 0.5 k de granos de maíz. Se utilizó un diseño completamente al azar con 10 tratamientos y tres repeticiones. La mayor mortalidad se obtuvo con el tratamiento a base de tres gramos para todos los tratamientos, siendo la pimienta negra y la ruda los que presentaron mayores porcentajes de mortalidad con 68.84 y 60.42% respectivamente, mientras que los demás tratamientos mostraron mortalidades menores al 50%.

Palabra clave: gorgojo del maíz; granos almacenados; insecticidas botánicos; polvos vegetales

Worldwide, maize is one of the species with a great biological diversity, occupying the third in importance in area planted only after wheat and rice crops (SAGARPA-SIAP, 2014). Mexico is ranked as the seventh largest producer of maize in the world, currently producing 23 273 256.54 million tons of grains of this species on an area of 7 426 412.19 hectares equivalent to 3% of world production (SAGARPA-SIAP, 2014).

Maize is the most important crop in Mexico as it is used for human, animal and industrial consumption. (SAGARPA-SIAP, 2014).

Several factors contribute to the post-harvest losses of this grain, with 5-10% of world production being lost due to pests, which is equivalent to the amount of grain needed to feed 130 million people annually (Casini et al., 2008). S. zeamais maize weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is considered one of the most important pests that affect the grain of this crop when it is stored; in Latin America, between 30 and 40% of maize production is lost during storage. Cerna et al. (2010); Lagunes (1994) mention that S. zeamais is one of the species of weevils that causes more losses in grains stored in the world; its control is mainly based on synthetic products, which are less effective as time goes by.

To minimize these losses, chemical pesticides are commonly used, where mixtures of insecticides and fungicides are used in order to protect the seeds during storage; however, chemical products and applied doses can cause seed toxicity, as well as frequently leading to resistance problems, environmental contamination and residues in food (Silva et al., 2003). An alternative to this problem is the use of natural products derived from plants, which are generally biodegradable and do not produce imbalance in the ecosystem (Iannacone et al., 2001; Iannacone et al., 2003). For this reason and in order to contribute to the search for natural products, nine vegetable powders were evaluated against the attack of S. zeamais adults in stored maize, looking for an alternative in the control of stored grain pests.

The study was carried out in the laboratory of Toxicology of the Department of Parasitology of the Autonomous University of Agraria Antonio Narro.

The plant material used was provided by the toxicology laboratory, each plant species (Table 1) were separately sprayed on an electric mill and subsequently filtered with a 250 μm sieve in order to achieve a fine and homogeneous powder. Finally, they were stored at room temperature in ziploc bags identifying them according to the species of the plant in question.

Table 1 Vegetable species evaluated for the control of Sitophilus zeamais Motsch., in grains of stored maize. 

As a substrate, white maize was stored with soft to semi-crystalline characteristics produced in the southeast of Coahuila in the spring-summer 2014 cycle, free of chemical treatments and impurities.

The methodology proposed by Lagunes and Rodríguez (1989) with slight modifications was used, which consisted of placing 300 g of maize with the doses of 1, 2 and 3 g of vegetable powder in 500 ml plastic containers to make a mixture of each treatment. After mixing, each container was infested with 30 adult S. zeamais insects.

In order to determine the powders effect on each treatment, the variable mortality was measured, which was evaluated 15 days after exposing the insects to treated maize. The living and dead adults of each treatment were quantified according to whether or not they showed coordinated movements at the touch of a dissecting needle (FAO, 1980).

The statistical model consisted of a completely randomized model with 10 treatments and 3 replicates and a total of 30 experimental units, including the control. With the results obtained and observing that the control showed no more than 12% mortality, the mortality correction (MC) was performed using the Abbott formula (1925): 𝑀𝐶=((%𝑚𝑢𝑒𝑟𝑡𝑜𝑠−%𝑡𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑔𝑜)/(100−%𝑡𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑔𝑜))∗100,, for its normalization the percentage values were transformed to arcoseno 𝑥/100 Afterwards, they were submitted to analysis of variance (Anova) to indicate the difference between the treatments and the Tukey test (p≤ 0.05) was applied for the separation of means, for which the software Statistical Analysis System (SAS, 2002) was used.

The results of the mortality rate of the powders on S. zeamais are shown in Table 2, as proposed by Lagunes (1994), who indicates as promising only those treatments with a mortality higher than 50%, it can be pointed out that two of the nine powders evaluated meet this criterion. The best results were obtained with black pepper powder and rude pepper with mortality rates of 68.84 and 60.42, respectively.

Table 2 Mortality of S. zeamais adults in stored maize grains treated with vegetable powders at doses of 3 g. 

The results obtained are consistent with the findings of Salvadores et al. (2007) who reported that the highest mortalities were obtained with Piper nigrum L., with control percentages between 65.6 and 97.6 respectively. Paula et al. (2002) reported that the metabolites, piperine and piperidine, isolated in Piper nigrum L., showed a control of 97.5%. Scott et al. (2004) worked with three extracts of plant species of the piperaceae family (Piper nigrum L.) in the control of five orders of insects mentioning the isobutyl amine (amides) as the secondary metabolite that acts as neurotoxic and insect repellent.

On the other hand, Park et al. (2002) mention amides in the genus Piper of the family Piperaceae, as secondary metabolites with insecticidal-acaricidal activity. Ruta graveolens L. (ruda) presented a control percentage of 60.42%, similar to that reported by Silva et al. (2003) with 60.5% control. In addition to the above mentioned treatments, the thyroid, mint, cinnamon, clove, chilli, rosemary and garlic powders showed control percentages lower than 50%, which agrees with Silva et al. (2003); Salvadores et al. (2007); Silva et al. (2005); Castillo et al. (2012). Of the evaluated treatments, black pepper and rude powder exceeded the threshold of mortality proposed by Lagunes (1994).


The pepper powder obtained the best control results, presenting a mortality of 68.84%. The second treatment with the best results was rude powder presenting a mortality of 60.42%. The treatments with garlic, rosemary, chili, clove, cinnamon, mint and thyme powder did not show a high control potential in the conditions of this researcg. The vegetable powders of black pepper and ruda to 3 g present a high potential to be implemented in the handling of S. zeamais in stored grains.

Literatura citada

Abbott, W. S. 1925. A method of computing the effectiveness of an insecticides. Journal of Economic Entomology. 18:265-267. [ Links ]

Casini, C. y Santajuliana, M. 2008. Control de plagas en granos almacenados. [ Links ]

Castillo, S. L. E.; Jiménez, O. J. J. y Delgado, H. M. A., 2012. Actividad biológica in vitro del extracto de Capsicum chinense jacq contra Bemisia tabaci genn. Instituto Tecnológico de Tizimín. Tizimín, Yucatán, México. Rev. Chapingo Ser. Hort. 18(3): 345-356. [ Links ]

Cerna C. E.; Guevara, A. L.; Landeros F. J.; Ochoa, F. Y.; Badii, Z. M. H. y Olalde, P. V. 2010. Evaluación de aceites y extractos vegetales para el control de Sitophilus zeamaiz y su efecto en la calidad de semilla de maíz. Revista de la Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias. Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. Argentina. 42(1):135-145. [ Links ]

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). 1980. Recommended method for measurement of test resistance to pesticide. Plan Production and Protection Paper. Roma, Italy. 132 p. [ Links ]

Iannacone, J. y Reyes, M. 2001. Efecto de la rotenona y neem sobre Bemisia tabaci Gennadius (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) y Liriomyza huidobrensis Blanchard (Diptera: Agromyzidae), plagas del tomate en Perú. Agronomía Tropical. 51:65-79. [ Links ]

Iannacone, J. y Lamas, G. 2003. Plantas biocidas usadas en el control de la polilla de la papa, Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). Revista Peruana de Entomología, 43:79-87. [ Links ]

Lagunes, T. A. y Rodríguez, C. 1989. Búsqueda de tecnología apropiada para el combate de plagas del maíz almacenado en condiciones rústicas. CONACYT/Colegio de Postgraduados. Montecillo, Texcoco, México. 147 p. [ Links ]

Lagunes, T. A. 1994. Extractos de polvos vegetales y polvos minerales para el combate de plagas del maíz y del frijol en la agricultura de subsistencia. Colegio de Posgraduados.México. 35 p. [ Links ]

Park, B.S.; Lee, S. E.; Choi, W. S.; Jeong, C. Y.; Song, C. y Cho, K. Y. 2002. Insecticidal and acaricidal activity of pipernonaline and piperoctadecalidine derived from dried fruits of Piper longum L. Crop Protection Elsevier Science. 21: 249-251. [ Links ]

Paula, V.; Barbosa, L. C.; Demuner, A.; Piloveloso, D. y Pincanco, M. 2000. Synthesis and insecticidal activity of new amide derivatives of piperine. Universidad Federal de Vicosa. Pest Management Science. Vicosa, Brasil. 56:168-174. [ Links ]

SAS (Statistical Analysis System) Institute. 2002. SAS Systems for information delivery for Windows. Release 9.0. Cary, North Caroline USA. [ Links ]

Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación-Servicio de Información Agroalimentaria y Pesquera (SAGARPA-SIAP) 2014. Servicio de Información Agroalimentaria y Pecuaria. México. [ Links ]

Salvadores, U. J. Silva, G.; Tapia, V. M. y Hepp, G. R. 2007. Polvos de especias aromáticas para el control del gorgojo del maíz, Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky, en trigo almacenado. Chillan, Chile. Agricultura Técnica. 67:147-158. [ Links ]

Silva, G.; Lagunes, T. A. y Rodríguez, J. C. 2003. Control de Sitophilus zeamaiz (Coleóptera: Curculionidae) con polvos vegetales solos y en mezcla con carbonato de calcio en maíz almacenado. Ciencia e Investigación Agraria. 30:153-160. [ Links ]

Silva, G.; Orrego, O.; Hepp, R. y Tapia, M. 2005. Búsqueda de plantas con propiedades insecticidas para el control de Sitophilus zeamais en maíz almacenado Universidad de Concepción, Facultad de Agronomía. Chillán, Chile. Pesq. Agrop. Bras. 40(1):11-17. [ Links ]

Scott, I. M. H.; Jensen, R.; Nicol, L.; Lesage, R.; Bradbury, P.; Sánchez, V. L.; Poveda, J. T. Arnason, B. J. R. P. 2004. Efficacy of piper (Piperaceae) extracts for control of common home and garden insect pests. J. Econ. Entomol. 97(4):1390-1403. [ Links ]

Received: February 2017; Accepted: April 2017

Creative Commons License Este es un artículo publicado en acceso abierto bajo una licencia Creative Commons