The alfalfa looper and corn earworm moths are major insect pests that cause severe damage and losses to numerous crops including corn, alfalfa, cotton, tomato and egg plant throughout the United States. These pests are often controlled with pesticides. Integrated pest management methods are being developed that replace pesticide sprays and reduce pesticide use. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have discovered chemical attractants that are effective in attracting male and female moths to lures containing attractants, and providing a means for detecting, surveying, monitoring, and controlling these pests. ARS’s invention is a unique combination of two odorous chemicals (phenylacetaldehyde and beta myrcene) that are highly attractive to these pests. The chemical blend is an attractive lure for both sexes, which makes it more advantageous for reducing populations by trapping or killing females before they lay eggs. There are numerous chemical attractants for insect pests, but few for female moths. The compounds were isolated from flowers of Oregon grape, a shrub native to the Pacific Northwest that is grown as an ornamental.
The chemical lure will be used to develop lure and kill strategies to control moth pests of vegetable crops with greatly used pesticide use. The lure is useful for monitoring activities of female moths to determine if economically damaging populations exist and need to be controlled. It is currently placed in a trap which is hung on stakes near plants to be protected.
Home and garden markets would benefit from this invention. Also, when the lure is developed for use in a lure and kill technology, it will benefit commercial vegetable growers.
Please refer to patent application S.N. 10/637,922 (Docket #0084.02), “Attractants for Moths,” which was filed on August 8, 2003. Foreign rights are available.
Peter J. Landolt Constance L. Smithhisler
Fruit and Vegetable Insect Research (Same as first inventor)
Wapato, WA 98951 (509) 454-5654 / Fax: (509) 454-5646
(509) 454-6550 / Fax: (509) 454-5646 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com