Submitted to: International Congress of Entomology
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2008
Publication Date: July 6, 2008
Citation: Hight, S.D., Carpenter, J.E., Bloem, S., Bloem, K.A., Floyd, J. 2008. Development of control tactics against the invasive cactus moth, cactoblastis cactorum, in North America. XXlll International Congress of Entomology,Durban, South Africa. Meeting Abstract. Technical Abstract: Introduction: To address the advancement of Cactoblastis cactorum along the southeastern gulf coast of USA and new incursions in Mexico, control tactics including sanitation and the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) were validated and implemented. Methods: Three sites were selected for the SIT validation study: control (no manipulation of infested plants); sanitation only (removal of eggsticks, infested pads/larvae, and pupae); and sanitation plus SIT (removal plus strategic release of sterile moths). Population change and treatment efficacy were monitored with pheromone traps and sentinel plants. Parentage of eggsticks was determined to evaluate sterile/wild moth interaction. Sanitation and host plant removal were part of a multifaceted control program on Isla Mujeres, Mexico, and sanitation and Sit were used on Isla Contoy, Mexico. Results: In the SIT validation study sanitation alone reduced moth populations but sanitation coupled with SIT lowered the population to immeasurable levels. Effective overflooding ratios ('10:1) (sterile:wild males caught in traps) and collection of eggsticks from wild female and sterile male matings indicated that sterile males were competitive with wild males. Control tactics and other program initiatives used in Mexico greatly reduced or eliminated pest populations on Isla Mujeres and Isla Contoy. Conclusions: The success of the SIT validation study justified the transfer of this technology to other outbreaks at the western leading edge of C. cactorum in Alabama, and to assist Mexico in the removal of C. cactorum recently established on two islands off the Yucatan Peninsula.