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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Landolt, Peter

Submitted to: Journal of Kansas Entomological Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2000
Publication Date: 6/1/2001
Citation: Landolt, P.J. 2001. New feeding attractants for moth pests. Journal of Kansas Entomological Society. 73:189-194.

Interpretive Summary: Researchers at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, near Wapato, Washington, are working to develop new methods and approaches to insect pest control that involve reduced or eliminated reliance on pesticide sprays. One such approach is to use chemical attractants to bring pest insects in to traps or baits, thereby avoiding the use of pesticide sprays to control these insects. Scientists have recently discovered two sources of chemical attractants for a group of pest moths that includes loopers, cutworms, armyworms, and fruitworms. The combination of acetic acid and 3-methyl-1-butanol from fermented sugar solutions and phenylacetaldehyde and other chemicals from the flowers of Oregon grape (Berberis sp) attracts both sexes of many of these pest moths found in Washington. These new chemical lures should help researchers poison baits for use in controlling these insects on numerous fruit and vegetable crops.

Technical Abstract: Potatoes are attacked by caterpillars of moths, often referred to as loopers, armyworms, and cutworms. A new chemical attractant has recently been developed that should be helpful for monitoring these moth pests and for developing new control technologies that involve reduced pesticide use. The combination of acetic acid and 3-methyl-1-butanol was isolated from the odors of fermented sweet baits and is attractive to a number of species of these moth pests of potato and other crops. The aroma of flowers of Oregon grape is also attracted to looper moths, such as the alfalfa and cabbage looper. This odor has been chemically characterized and one compound in particular, pheylacetaldehyde is attractive to the alfalfa looper moth. These attractants are being developed both for use in traps and in bait stations to kill attracted moths.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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