Location: Fruit and Vegetable Insect Research
2013 Annual Report
1. Characterize the emission rate of pear ester over time from field-aged microencapsulated formulations (MEC). 2. Examine larval behavior on host plants treated with various rates and deposition patterns of pear ester MEC. 3. Evaluate the effectiveness of adding pear ester to various insecticides to increase larval mortality including the role of crop and cultivar on activity. 4. Evaluate the interactions of pear ester and sex pheromone combined in various blend ratios on moth orientation responses. 5. Examine the effect of pre-exposure to various rates and blends of pear ester and sex pheromone. 6. Evaluate the effectiveness of various dispensers loaded with blends of pear ester and sex pheromone on male captures by virgin female-baited traps.
The goal of the project was to develop new, more effective management approaches for codling moth, the key pest of apple and pear in the western United States, utilizing the addition of pear ester. Technical objectives were to 1. Develop a hand-applied dispenser loaded with sex pheromone and pear ester that would improve mating disruption and 2. Evaluate the use of a microencapsulated pear ester formulation to both increase the efficacy of a number of larval insecticides with different modes of action, and to improve sex pheromone-based mating disruption of adults. These objectives were met.
Several practical applications of the pear ester for management of codling moth were tested and refined over a five year project. Field trials in apple evaluated the addition of a sprayable microencapsulated (MEC) formulation of pear ester to the use of insecticides. The addition of the MEC formulation to insecticides from several mode-of-action classes provided significantly improved control of codling moth. The MEC formulation can allow growers to use reduced rates of insecticides and improve the performance of some of the new classes of more selective materials. Resin dispensers loaded with new sex pheromone and pear ester combined formulations were evaluated each year to produce a series of improvements in formulation efficacy for sexual disruption of codling moth. Dispensers loaded with both pheromone and pear ester significantly reduced the catch of male moths by virgin female-baited traps and reduced the incidence of mating by wild moths.
The sum of these experimental results is that the addition of pear ester in combo dispensers reduces female moth mating and subsequently fewer eggs would be laid and the level of fruit injury would be reduced. This result should allow growers to use fewer supplemental insecticide sprays. Second the addition of the microencapsulated pear ester can allow more selective insecticides to provide effective control and a full integration of pear ester-containing dispensers plus a series of pear ester sprays provides the highest level of control and should further reduce the need for supplemental insecticide sprays. These significant results have allowed the manufacturer of pear ester products to move forward to obtain registrations. For example, pear ester products have been registered in South America and Europe and registrations are expected in the USA in late 2013.