Turmeric Provides Natural Pest, Fungal, and Plant Bacteria Control
Are you looking for more natural ways to control disease-causing pests and microbes in your garden and home? With the threat to bee populations from commercial pesticides, effective organic insecticides would be a viable alternative. (xii.3-4)
Turmeric stands out as the perfect herbal choice in pest management. In countries as diverse as Pakistan and the United States, people have used turmeric to control pests and preserve food for decades. (xii.2, 5-7)
Effective Insecticidal and Antifungal Compounds in Turmeric
By itself or combined with other natural ingredients, studies show turmeric is a natural insect repellent, fungicide, and bactericide. Essential turmeric oils (from turmeric leaves and rhizome), turmeric extracts, and powdered turmeric contain compounds that are effective insecticides. They work against a variety of bugs that commonly bite humans, infest stored foods such as rice and flour, and attack garden plants and farm crops. (xii.8-9)
These compounds include:
- 1,8-cineole can help control house dust mites and red flour beetles. Combined with essential oil of black pepper (which contains the compound linalool), it can help kill the larvae of the common cutworm — a voracious garden pest. (xii.3, 10-11)
- Ar-turmerone in turmeric rhizome and leaf oil both deters bugs and prevents insect eggs from hatching. Turmerones, curlone, and α-phellandrene in turmeric's leaf extracts kill 100% of mosquito larvae. (xii.8, 12)
- Eugenol and cineole can repel mosquitoes as well. (xii.3)
- Curcumin inhibits growth of desert locusts by 60%. These potentially dangerous insects are a type of grasshopper that under certain conditions can create swarms over 1 to several hundred square kilometers — with each square kilometer containing 40-80 million locusts. The swarms create plagues that can decimate food sources in 60 countries and over 20% of the world. (xii.13)
- Alpha-phellandrene from turmeric leaves blocks the growth and kills larva of tiger moths, diamond back moths, red cotton bugs, and red flour beetles. (xii.3, 14)
- When combined with ginger oil, curcumene blocks fungal growth in rice plants. (xii.3, 14)
- Alpha-pinene, geraniol, limonene, α-terpineol are all effective against the European corn borer. This pest is particularly harmful to sweet peppers. (xii.3, 15)
- Limonene and α-terpineol significantly suppress the growth and maturation of cockroaches. (xii.3)
- Cinnamic acid, geraniol, and terpineol compounds kill house fly eggs. (xii.3)
- Eugenol is highly effective against termites, house flies, American cockroach, western corn root worm, and granary weevils. It is also active against the mosquito that causes yellow fever, and is a potent larvacide and repellent for other mosquito species. (xii.3)
- Eugenol and geraniol are both useful in traps for Japanese beetles. (xii.3)
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