Evaluation of mating disruption in Ephestia cautella (Walker): use of water traps and presence of spermatophores


Abstract: The purpose of the study was to verify the efficacy of a mating-disruption system (MD) applied in a confectionary factory infested by almond moths, Ephestia cautella (Walker), using pheromone traps and the presence of spermatophores in females caught with water traps. Results obtained confirmed that water is a considerable attractant for E. cautella, as a great number of males and females were caught. The presence of spermatophores in females allowed determination of mating status: most captured females were mated; in the area where MD was applied the percentage of unmated females was lower as compared to the control area (the proportion of unmated females was much higher in the control area). In an Integrated Pest Management programme, the combined use of MD and water traps eliminates large numbers of male and female almond moths. This information will be useful in developing strategies for suppressing E. cautella infestation.

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