Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/4/2005
Publication Date: 11/1/2005
Citation: Koppenhofer, A., Polavarapu, S., Fuzy, M., Zhang, A., Ketner, K., Larsen, T. 2005. Mating disruption of oriental beetle (coleoptera: scarabaeidae) in turfgrass using microencapsulated formulations of sex pheromone components. Environmental Entomology. 34(6)1408-1417.
Interpretive Summary: In the Northeastern United States, the Japanese beetle has been considered the key turfgrass insect pest even though a significant amount of the damage attributed to is it actually caused by the oriental beetle. The oriental beetle is also the major pest in ornamental nurseries and blueberries, and causes losses in cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, and sweet potatoes. The extensive feeding activity of the large grubs can kill the grass and plants. Until today, chemical insecticides are still the primary tools for turfgrass insect pest management. The need for the development of safer effective alternatives is apparent. Using insect attractants, sex pheromones, to disrupt the mate finding is widely used as an environmentally safe, non-toxic alternative to broad-spectrum insecticides for several moth species. We initiated a study to determine the feasibility of such technology to control the oriental beetle. The present study demonstrated that this technology is feasible in the turfgrass system. The effect of the sex attractant could significantly reduce in grubs and adult oriental beetle populations in the treated areas. However, we found that the efficacy and feasibility of this technology could be improved with different forms of the insect attractant tested. Also, contamination of shoes and other clothing articles with insect attractant in the tested golf course could attract male beetles to these articles outside of treated areas, and therefore present a potential nuisance. Our future efforts will concentrate on the development new forms of attractant, which could make this technology more effective, safe, environmentally and economically sound, easily implementable, durable, and highly integrated pest management compatible option for ornamental plant and turfgrass managers in oriental beetle management.
Technical Abstract: The feasibility of mating disruption in the oriental beetle, Anomala orientalis Waterhouse with microencapsulated sprayable formulations of (Z)-7-tetradecen-2-one, the major sex pheromone component, was evaluated in turfgrass areas in central New Jersey. The effect of the applications was measured by monitoring male A. orientalis captures in pheromone-baited traps throughout the flight period and estimating A. orientalis larval densities in September in soil/sod samples. Trap captures were 90 – 100% lower in the treated areas during the first 7 – 10 days after treatment, but started to increase thereafter. Therefore applications were repeated after 14 d in most treatments. The formulation tested in 2002 and 2003 reduced trap captures by 87 – 88% with two applications of each 12.5 or 50 g pheromone per ha, but only by 74% by a single application of 75 g pheromone per ha. Reductions of A. orientalis larval populations by 68 – 74% were not significant due to very high variability of larval densities in the non-treated areas. Two different formulations tested in 2004 were less effective. Significant amounts of the pheromone remained on the grass foliage after application without post-treatment irrigation, but 51 and 73% of this residue was washed off the foliage with 3.2 and 6.4 mm post-treatment irrigation, respectively. Shoes walked at 1 DAT through pheromone-treated areas were sufficiently contaminated with pheromone to attract high numbers of A. orientalis males in non-treated areas. This study suggests that mating disruption is a promising strategy for A. orientalis management in turfgrass. However, formulations need to be developed that can persist longer while having a lower potential to contaminate shoes and other clothing articles with pheromone.