Peppermint essential oil inhibits Drosophila suzukii emergence but reduces Pachycrepoideus vindemmiae parasitism rates.
Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii; Matsumura) is an invasive fruit fly with the ability to oviposit in a broad range of agriculturally valuable fruits. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by botanical oils may reduce D. suzukii's attraction to hosts and decrease survival, but it is unknown whether their efficacy varies across D. suzukii life stages or affects the survival and success of higher trophic levels. Through a series of laboratory bioassays, we evaluated the effects of peppermint (Mentha arvensis L.) oil produced VOCs on D. suzukii survival and the survival of and parasitism rates by a pupal parasitoid wasp, Pachycrepoideus vindemmiae (Rondani). First, we determined whether fumigation with peppermint oil VOCs at the pupal stage reduced adult emergence, and whether this depended on environmental conditions (i.e. soil moisture). Second, we evaluated whether fumigation with peppermint oil VOCs reduced or enhanced parasitism by the pupal parasitoid and whether this depended on the timing of peppermint oil VOC exposure (i.e. before, during, or after parasitoid access). Fumigation with VOCs of 4.5 mg of peppermint oil reduced D. suzukii emergence under moist soil conditions but dry soil had a similar effect on reducing adult emergence as peppermint oil presence. Peppermint oil VOC fumigation was toxic to adult P. vindemmiae, but developing P. vindemmiae were unaffected by peppermint oil VOC fumigation. Using peppermint essential oil as a fumigant may reduce D. suzukii emergence from the pupal stage. However, this could negatively impact P. vindemmiae dependent on the timing of application.