Tavares, W.R., Barreto, M.C. & Seca, A.M.L. (2021) Aqueous and ethanolic plant extracts as bio-Insecticides-establishing a bridge between raw scientific data and practical reality.Plants-Basel, 10(5), 1-30. DOI:10.3390/plants10050920 (IF2020 3,935; Q2 Plant Sciences)
Global demand for food production is causing pressure to produce faster and bigger crop yields, leading to a rampant use of synthetical pesticides. To combat the nefarious consequences of its uses, a search for effective alternatives began in the last decades and is currently ongoing. Nature is seen as the main source of answers to crop protection problems, supported by several examples of plants/extracts used for this purpose in traditional agriculture. The literature reviewed allowed the identification of 95 plants whose extracts exhibit insecticide activity and can be used as bio-pesticides contributing to sustainable agriculture. The option for ethanol and/or water extracts is more environmentally friendly and resorts to easily accessible solvents, which can be reproduced by farmers themselves. This enables a bridge to be established between raw scientific data and a more practical reality. Azadirachta indica, Capsicum annuum, Nicotiana tabacum and Tagetes erecta are the most researched plants and have the potential to be viable options in the pest management approach. Azadirachta indica showed the most promising results and Brevicoryne brassicae was the most targeted pest species, being tested against the aqueous and/or ethanolic extracts of 23 different plants. Maceration using dried material (usually leaves) is the extraction method preferred by the majority of authors.