Cereals grains, in general and maize, in particular play a vital role in the diet of resource poor people of sub Saharan Africa (SSA), including Ethiopia. However, both quantitative and qualitative losses of these food grains by insect pests in storage have been indicated to be one of the critical factors that affect the household’s food security (Abebe et al., 2009; Worku et al., 2012; Manandhar et al., 2018; Hiruy and Emana, 2018).
Maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais and Tribolium castaneum, red flour beetle, respectively are among the most destructive primary and secondary pests that are responsible food insecurity ruler poor (Srivastava and Subramanian, 2016; Hiruy and Emana, 2018). Management of these insect pests has been primarily dependent upon synthetic chemical insecticides and fumigants that were often associated adverse effects on beneficial and non-target organisms, environmental prolusion as well as health risk to human (Karakas, 2016). These situations of synthetic pesticides inspired the search for relatively safe, environmentally sound and promising alternative control options such as botanicals that could be easily and less expensively produced at farmers and small scale industries level (Dubey et al.
, 2008; Nikkon et al., 2009; Karunaratne and Karunaratne, 2018).
One of the main reasons that botanicals have been used traditionally used by farmers under their grains storage is their repellent effect on insect pests from their stored grain. Repellents refer to chemical substances of plants that push away the insect pests from materials treated by them through motivating the olfactory or other receptors of the insects, causing less effect on the environment (Jahromi et al 2012; Karunaratne and Karunaratne, 2012).
Botanicals have been considered to be safe as they pose minimal impact to the environment and human health as well as they minimize undesirable chemical residue on food and food grains that could be resulted from the use synthetic chemical insecticides (Talukder et al., 2004; Talukder, 2006; Rajashekar et al., 2012).
Besides, the extracts of different parts of plants have been used in as repellant and protectants stored grains insect pests in different parts of the world (Ishii et al., 2010; Karunaratne and Karunaratne, 2012). Therefore this study was instated with objective evaluating the percentage repellency of six solvent extracts Militia feruginaea leaves against the two most economically important storage insect pests; the maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais, and the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneu under laboratory condition.
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