The use of pesticides has contributed to the increased agricultural production; however, the incorrect and indiscriminate use over several decades has led to the accumulation of toxic residues in food, contamination of water and soil, poisoning of farmers, selection of resistant pests, besides several other problems. Lately, the interest for substances posing lower risk to the human health and the environment has increased, in addition to the increasing demand for healthy food products free from pesticide residues. Fortunately a large number of plants have insecticidal activity and should be studied and introduced, whenever possible, into farms as an alternative means to control pests. In this study, a review of the use of plants with insecticidal or repellent potential is presented, evidencing the potential of this tool in pest management. For a definitive and safe insertion of botanical products into the market further studies are still needed.
plants; insecticidal activity; repellent action