Allelochemicals from essential oil-bearing plants have been categorized as green pesticides because they are biodegradable and predominantly non-toxic to vertebrates. With an aim to reduce the use of synthetic insecticides, they represent one of the most promising approaches for eco-chemical control of insects. Eight compounds were evaluated via topical application against third instar Chilo partellus Swinhoe larvae. Thymol was the most active (lethal dose (LD)50 = 189.7 μg/larva) and methyl eugenol the least (LD50 = 1069.4 μg/larva). The compounds were also tested at sublethal levels, i.e. LD10 and LD30, and there was approximately 15–43% of reduction in growth, which was transitory, and some recovery was observed 6 days post-treatment. Compounds were also used as binary mixtures and tested for synergy, using toxicity and feeding inhibition parameters. The data showed that thymol and α-terpineol synergized the effects of both linalool and 1,8-cineole, but linalool with 1,8-cineole exhibited only an additive effect against C. partellus. Although there is no specific generalization that could be drawn relating to efficacy of binary mixtures, the present findings resulted in several complex mixtures that could be developed and tested as leads for effective control of C. partellus.