Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

College

College of Arts & Sciences

Department

Math & Science

Degree Name

Biology, BA

First Supervisor

Wayne Tschetter, Ph.D.

Keywords

insecticides, pyrethrins, pyrethroids, caffeine, cricket, invertebrate, neurophysiology

Abstract

All organisms have adapted to escape or fight predators to ensure their own survival. Chrysanthemum flowers have insecticidal properties through a natural compound called pyrethrin. Pyrethrin is neurotoxic to insects but is not photostable. With the growth of human population and environmental changes, pyrethrin has been artificially modified into compounds known as pyrethroids. Synthetic pyrethroids are neurotoxic, photostable, and insoluble in water. The widespread use of pyrethroids in agricultural pesticides, has led to an increased concern for the affected non-target species. This study looked at the effect of pyrethroids on insect neurophysiology and tested the efficacy of a proposed natural insecticide, caffeine. Our results suggest that caffeine is an effective insecticide toward the common house cricket. Furthermore, data showed increased neuronal activity prior to decline and death as a result of a depolarized membrane of neurons. This thesis also discusses the complications and future directions of finding an organic, yet effective insecticide.

Off-Campus Download

Share

COinS