Insecticidal Activity of Green Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles from Pelargonium Citronellum against Citrus Mealybug, Planococcus Citri

Thamer Yousif Mutter, Omer Mohammed Hassan


Planococcus citri is a common insect pest that poses a serious threat to citrus crops. Treatment of Planococcus citri with chemical pesticides causes harm to humans, animals, and the environment. This study aimed to use silver nanoparticles as potential alternatives to control this agricultural insect pest. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have been identified using X-ray diffraction (XRD), ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). An absorbance peak at 425 nm in the UV-Vis spectrum showed the existence of AgNPs due to plasmon resonance. XRD patterns verified that the AgNPs possess a highly crystalline structure. SEM imaging showed that the AgNPs were spherical in shape with an average size of 12.4 nm. Toxicological tests of the prepared silver nanoparticles showed they are effective in insecticidal activities in different stages of the mealybug. Using the synthesized silver nanoparticles for more than 72 hours of treatment at a concentration of 100 ppm resulted in the highest killing rates of 40.0, 68.0, and 70.0% for the development of three stages of the mealybug, including eggs, the first age of nymphs, and adult females, respectively. The lowest percentage of the insecticidal efficacy of silver nanoparticles was recorded at a concentration of 5 ppm, reaching 62.75 and 4.6 % after 3 and 7 days, respectively. To our knowledge, it is noteworthy to report that nanoparticles were successfully synthesized from the extract of Pelargonium citronellum for the first time. The results have demonstrated the potential of natural extracts as a source of nanoparticles to manage mealybugs.


Insecticidal activity; Pelargonium citronellum; Planococcus citri; silver nanoparticles.

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