Insects and mites present a significant threat to global economies through crop damage and causing adverse effects on human health. Synthetic pesticides are most often used to control such pest species. However, the long-term and extensive use of synthetic pesticides can impact human health, disrupt ecosystems and harm other beneficial organisms. Plant essential oils (EOs) have been recognized as a viable natural source of pest control that reduces the impact to the environment and human health. 

This study is in partnership with the Canadian company Nutrilife Plant Products Ltd. Nutrilife’s product 102 is the most effective of their pesticides for control of two-spotted spider mites (TSSM). The main goal of this project will be to investigate the mechanism of action of product 102 in TSSM. In addition, the project will assess the impact of the pesticide to beneficial species, such as bumble bees, and explore the potential of the product as a fungicide. 

This research project is Kayla Guadet’s Master’s thesis topic, she is a student in Dr. Kirk Hillier’s lab. Click here to view her poster and learn more.