Non-target effects of ten essential oils on the egg parasitoid Trichogramma evanescens
Essential oils (EOs) are increasingly used as biopesticides due to their insecticidal potential. This study addresses their non-target effects on a biological control agent: the egg parasitoid Trichogramma evanescens. In particular, we tested whether EOs affected parasitoid fitness either directly, by decreasing pre-imaginal survival, or indirectly, by disrupting parasitoids' orientation abilities. The effect of Anise, Fennel, Sweet orange, Basil, Coriander, Oregano, Peppermint, Mugwort, Rosemary and Thyme EOs were studied on five strains of T. evanescens. Specific experimental setups were developed, and data obtained from image analysis were interpreted with phenomenological models fitted with Bayesian inference. Results highlight the fumigant toxicity of EOs on parasitoid development. Anise, Fennel, Basil, Coriander, Oregano, Peppermint and Thyme EOs are particularly toxic and drastically reduce the emergence rate of T. evanescens. Most EOs also affect parasitoid behavior: (i) Basil, Coriander, Oregano, Peppermint, Mugwort and Thyme EOs are highly repellent for naive female parasitoids; (ii) Anise and Fennel EOs can have repellent or attractive effects depending on strains; and (iii) Sweet orange, Oregano and Rosemary EOs have no detectable impact on orientation behavior. This study shows that EOs fumigation have non-target effects on egg parasitoids. This highlights the need to cautiously precise the deployment framework of biopesticides in an agroecological perspective.