Evaluation of Puffer® CM, a release device of pheromone to control codling moth on apple in Italy


Abstract: Different techniques have been developed to disrupt mating (MD) of codling moth (CM) by treating orchards with synthetic pheromone. For this purpose synthetic pheromone is applied to the crop as a formulation that is designed to protect these generally labile compounds from degradation while gradually releasing pheromone into the atmosphere. In Trentino South Tyrol MD has been adopted successfully (22,000 ha, i.e. 70% of the apple area) to control CM in heavily infested areas; while in areas with low pest pressure, less pesticides are usually applied and, as a consequence, pheromone mating disruption is not considered economically convenient. Hand applied sealed plastic tubes and plastic ampoules are the two pheromone formulations more widely used. A new pheromone-based control technique, called Puffer®, has been recently proposed. Puffers are battery-powered devices that release pheromone from pressurized aerosol cans every 15 minutes for 12 hours (or 30 min for 24 hours). During each puff a quantity of 6.95 mg a.i. is emitted. The high release rate of pheromone per puff from aerosol dispensers is thought to compensate for their low application densities (2 puffer/hectare). Results of two year field trials carried out in Trentino-South Tyrol demonstrated the reliability of Puffer as effective tool to control CM.

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