Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Research Project #437117

Research Project: Search for Wireworm Attractants in Illinois

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Project Number: 2092-22000-022-001-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2019
End Date: Apr 30, 2024

An objective of our project is to field screen possible pheromone compounds to determine which chemicals or blends are attractive to pestiferous click beetle species present in Illinois. A second objective is to identify new pheromone compounds from live unmated pestiferous click beetle females.

Screening of putative pheromone chemicals will be performed in two general habitats in Illinois: 1) native vegetation in crop growing areas where diverse and relatively dense assemblages of wireworm species can be found, and 2) agricultural habitats where pestiferous species of wireworms are prevalent, in multiple geographic and climatic regions. Synthetic chemicals tested using a randomized complete block experimental design. Pitfall traps will be baited with test lures (dispensed from rubber septa), and unbaited traps will be used as controls. A 1:1 mixture of water and propylene glycol will be used as a killing agent in the traps. Traps will be placed in the soil in crop fields or at field borders adjacent to non-crop habitat. Traps will be emptied of insects, lures and killing agent will be replaced, and damaged or missing traps replaced at weekly intervals from spring through the end of the summer growing season, which may vary with location. Trap catches will be identified to species and sex and compared between traps baited with a chemical compound and a paired unbaited control trap by repeated measures analysis. To identify new pheromone compounds, live virgin females will be obtained by rearing field-collected larvae to adults in the laboratory, individually, in plexiglass containers. Additionally, click beetles will be collected by sweep netting and live trapping. Beetles will be shipped to a cooperator at UC Riverside for volatile collection and identification.