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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Alternatives to Methyl Bromide: Mitigation of the Threat from Exotic Tropical and Subtropical Insect Pests

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: Evaluation of seven essential oils identifies cubeb oil as most effective attractant for detection of Xyleborus glabratus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae)

Authors
item Kendra, Paul
item Montgomery, Wayne
item Niogret, Jerome
item Schnell, Elena
item Deyrup, Mark -
item Epsky, Nancy

Submitted to: Journal of Pest Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 19, 2014
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The redbay ambrosia beetle (RAB) is an exotic wood-boring pest that transmits laurel wilt, a deadly fungal disease that threatens avocado production in Florida. To control the spread of laurel wilt, effective attractants are needed for early detection of RAB. Phoebe oil lures are the best known attractant, but they are no longer available commercially. Current detection traps use manuka oil lures, but previous research by scientists at the USDA-ARS (Miami, FL) indicated that manuka lures lose attraction after 2-3 weeks in Florida. Therefore, ARS initiated a study to compare seven essential oils (angelica seed, cubeb, ginger root, manuka, phoebe, tea tree, and orange oils) to identify potential alternative attractants. Initial field and lab tests indicated that cubeb oil was just as attractive as fresh manuka and phoebe oils. Subsequent tests with commercial lures found that cubeb bubble lures were more attractive than manuka lures and lasted at least 8 weeks. This research identifies cubeb lures as a significant improvement for detection of RAB, which will benefit avocado growers and action agencies in Florida.

Technical Abstract: Redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus, is an exotic wood-borer that vectors the fungal agent that induces laurel wilt. Since its introduction into Georgia in 2002, X. glabratus has spread throughout the southeastern U.S., and laurel wilt has decimated native Persea trees, particularly redbay (P. borbonia) and swampbay (P. palustris). The lethal disease now threatens avocado (P. americana) in Florida. To control the spread of laurel wilt, effective attractants are needed for early detection of the vector. Phoebe oil lures are the best known attractant, but they are no longer available. Current detection relies on manuka oil lures, but our previous research indicated they have a field life of only 2-3 wk in Florida. Therefore, we evaluated seven essential oils as attractants for X. glabratus, and ethanol as a potential synergist. Field tests and electroantennography (EAG) were conducted to compare attraction and olfactory response to angelica seed, cubeb, ginger root, manuka, phoebe, tea tree, and orange oils. Highest captures were obtained with cubeb, manuka, and phoebe oils; ginger and angelica oils were intermediate, and tea tree and orange oils were not attractive. Addition of ethanol to oil lures did not increase captures. In subsequent tests with commercial formulations, cubeb lures captured more X. glabratus than manuka lures, were better for early detection at low population levels, and had longevity of at least 8 wk. Highest EAG responses were elicited with phoebe and cubeb lures. Our results indicate that cubeb lures are the best attractant currently available for detection of X. glabratus.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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