The potential of pheromones for controlling Pseudococcus calceolariae (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in fruit crops


Abstract: Mealybugs (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) are economically important pests of many fruit crops and the pheromones of several species have been identified. For testing its potential use in the control of Pseudococcus calceolariae in fruit crops in Chile, we carried out several field experiments, including the approaches of mating disruption, mass trapping and attract and kill. In mating disruption trials male captures before treatments were similar for control and mating disruption plots, while after mating disruption treatments captures differed significantly. Nevertheless, significant differences in visual counts were not found and populations were very low in all plots. In the mass trapping trial, plots with pheromones had captures between 36 and 40 times that of plots without pheromones, and sticky panels catches were between 13 and 30 times. No significant differences for visual counts were detected. The attract and kill experiment is underway. Pheromones show a great potential as a direct control tactic for P. calceolariae in fruit crops.

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