The use of a push-pull strategy, combining a plant volatile repellent with sticky traps dosed with aggregation pheromone, reduced crop damage from Frankliniella occidentalis in strawberry


Abstract: In a semi-protected strawberry crop, mass trapping of Frankliniella occidentalis with blue pheromone sticky roller traps alone (pull), and together with a general repellent/natural enemy attractant placed in the crop between traps (push-pull), reduced adult thrips numbers per flower by > 90 %. The addition of the repellent in the crop increased thrips trap catch by 76 % and there were fewer damaged fruits in plots with the repellent combined with sticky traps (push-pull) compared to plots with traps alone (pull). The anthocorid predator Orius laevigatus was present in low numbers and mass trapping had no impact on predator numbers in strawberry flowers, therefore did not interfere with biological pest control. The combined use of sticky roller traps infused with F. occidentalis aggregation pheromone with the natural enemy attractant/pest repellent methyl salicylate is a promising strategy that can be integrated with biological control and applied to a wide range of crops.

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