Field effectiveness of pheromone-based mating disruption to control the vine mealybug, Planococcus ficus (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae): results from Italy
Abstract: In this study, field research aimed at the successful management of VMB was carried out both on table grape and grapevine in various Italian regions. We focused on the potential impact of different amounts of pheromone (respectively 54, 72 and 90 g/ha) per hectare on VMB mating and thus VMB infestation levels. This was achieved by deploying per hectare, respectively, 300, 400 and 500 Isonet® PF reservoir dispensers, each dispenser containing 180 mg of racemic lavandulyl senecioate, and by assessing the effectiveness of the three different rates in reducing VMB infestation levels in comparison to control vineyards. Our findings pointed out that all three tested dispenser rates and thus amounts of pheromone per hectare were effective in reducing the percentage of VMB infested bunches as well as the number of VMB per bunch, with significant differences over the untreated control.