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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 insect repellents to manage the redbay ambrosia beetle, vector of laurel wilt, a lethal disease affecting avocados in Florida

Authors
item Carrillo, Daniel -
item Kendra, Paul
item Duncan, Rita -
item Montgomery, Wayne
item Pena, Jorge -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 17, 2013
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
Citation: Carrillo, D., Kendra, P.E., Duncan, R.E., Montgomery, W.S., Pena, J.E. 2013. Evaluation of insect repellents to manage the redbay ambrosia beetle, vector of laurel wilt, a lethal disease affecting avocados in Florida. Meeting Abstract. Florida Entomological Society, Naples, FL July 14-17, 2013.

Technical Abstract: Production of avocado in Florida is valued at $30 million a year, accounting for twelve percent of the national production. Over 90 percent of avocado in Florida is grown in the southern tip of the peninsula, and avocado is considered Florida’s second most important fruit crop after citrus. The redbay ambrosia beetle (RAB), Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) vectors the fungal pathogen, Raffaelea lauricola, T.C. Harr., which causes laurel wilt, a lethal disease of trees in the family Lauraceae that includes avocado, Persea americana Mill. No sexual or aggregation pheromones have been identified from RAB or any other ambrosia beetle. Thus, in this study we evaluate repellent substances in an effort to disrupt the host location behavior, and therefore attack by RAB. Thirteen molecular formulas obtained from Bedoukian Research Inc., classified as “biopesticides” by EPA that are in the process of obtaining registration, were tested. The materials closely resemble naturally occurring molecules, have very low toxicity, and have proven effective repelling insects from different orders. Results of laboratory bioassays and field trials will be presented.

Last Modified: 11/26/2014