Control efficacy of azadirachtin on the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) by soil drenching

Rajendra Acharya, Sushant Raj Sharma, Apurba K. Barman, Sang Mok Kim, Kyeong Yeoll Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, is an important agricultural pest species native to the Western Hemisphere and has recently invaded to Africa and Asia. Owing to the development of pesticide resistance and environmental contamination, ecofriendly pesticides are desirable for FAW control. Azadirachtin is a plant-derived natural pesticide with low toxicity to humans and the natural environment. Azadirachtin is primarily applied by foliar spraying; however, this approach lowers the efficacy of controlling target insects owing to photodegradation and might give a harmful effect on nontarget beneficial insects. Thus, we investigated whether applying azadirachtin to soil improves FAW control and its toxicity to corn plants. Soil drainage of azadirachtin exhibited no phytotoxic effects on corn plants but significantly reduced the larval body weight and delayed the developmental period of each larval instar of FAW. Applying 10, 15, and 20 ppm azadirachtin to soil inhibited larval growth by 68%, 76%, and 91%, respectively. Furthermore, the survival rate of FAW gradually decreased when larvae were fed azadirachtin-treated corn leaves. Collectively, this is the first study suggesting the systemic efficacy of azadirachtin by soil drenching against FAW.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere22020
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • biological control
  • invasion
  • natural pesticides
  • plant-derived biopesticides
  • Spodoptera frugiperda


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