Semiochemical Methods to Control Insect Pests
Chemistry Research Unit
2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Development of novel semiochemical approaches to control Pepper weevil.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Blends of attractants for pepper weevil identified in laboratory tests will be field tested during whole growing seasons for population monitoring. Tests to determine: .
1)if it is possible to prevent infestations by pepper weevils by trapping insects migrating into fields and;.
2)how efficiently populations can be reduced by trapping within infested fields will be conducted. Tests will be performed using a standard randomized block design. Initially it should be sufficient to use standard rubber septa lures and yellow sticky traps; however, tests will be conducted to develop an optimized release system and trap design.
This work relates to sub-ojectives 2a. isolate and identify plant volatiles and insect produced pheromone that in combination attract male and female pepper and cranberry weevils and sub-objective 2b. Identification of oviposition deterring pheromone from pepper weevils.
Research on semiochemical communication by the Pepper weevil resulted in documentation of the neccessary interaction between host plant volatiles and pheromones as attractants for weevls. Additionally, an oviposition deterring pheromone has been identified. Small scale field trial showed preferential trapping of mated females by a host plant based attractant blend, but generally low trap counts. The blend is being improved using laboratory assays including pepper produced volatile compounds that can be correlated with weevil attraction. The Pepper weevil oviposition deterring pheromone has been largely identified as a combination of two compounds with different functions. This component blend works well in laboratory assays. Field studies are underway to improve the efficacy of the oviposition deterring pheromone.