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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGICALLY-BASED TECHNOLOGIES FOR MANAGEMENT OF CROP INSECT PESTS IN LOCAL AND AREAWIDE PROGRAMS

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research Unit

Title: Efficacy of four pheromone-baited traps in capturing male Helicoverpa moths in northern Florida

Authors
item Guerrero, Sarahlynne -
item Brambila, Julieta -
item Meagher, Robert

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 21, 2014
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Moths in the genus Helicoverpa are serious pests of grain, row, and vegetable crops. The corn earworm, H. zea, is a common species in the U.S. where it is a major pest of corn and cotton. The Old World Bollworm, H. armigera, is very similar to H. zea but is not established in the U.S. Entomologists at USDA-APHIS and the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey program are charged with monitoring for this pest. A scientist at the USDA Agriculture Research Service, Center for Medical, Veterinary and Agricultural Entomology in Gainesville, Florida, teamed with a University of Florida undergraduate student and an USDA-APHIS Identifier to compare the capture rate of four different sex pheromone-baited traps. Traps must be easy to handle, portable and cost effective so that they can provide high quality specimens for identifiers. Over 11,600 moths were captured, all identified as corn earworm. All traps were even in their ability to capture at least one moth when populations were low. Overall, the average corn earworm per trap vs. cost ratio for Universal (Unitrap) Moth “bucket” traps was higher than the other traps, suggesting that more moths per dollar would be captured using these traps.

Technical Abstract: Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) is a serious pest of grain, row, and vegetable crops throughout much of the world, although it is currently not established in the United States. USDA-APHIS and the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey program are charged with the responsibility to monitor for this insect pest. This study was conducted from spring through the fall in 2010 and 2011 to compare the trapping efficacy and cost-effectiveness of four pheromone-baited traps for male Helicoverpa moths. Over 11,600 Helicoverpa moths were captured, all identified as the corn earworm, H. zea (Boddie). The Pherocon® 1C “sticky” trap generally captured the fewest number of males, while equal numbers of moths were captured in a wire cone, ScentryTM Heliothis, and Universal (Unitrap) Moth “bucket” trap. The sticky traps captured the highest number of non-target insects, most being ants, flies, and beetles. All traps were even in their ability to capture at least one moth when populations were low. Overall, the average corn earworm per trap vs. cost ratio for bucket traps was higher than the other traps, suggesting that more moths per dollar would be captured using these traps.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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