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item Robacker, David

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/6/2006
Publication Date: 4/6/2007
Citation: Robacker, D.C. 2007. Attractiveness to Anastrepha ludens (Diptera: Tephritidae) of plant essential oils and a synthetic food-odor lure. Journal of Applied Entomology. 131:202-208.

Interpretive Summary: The Mexican fruit fly and other fruit flies are among the most damaging fruit pests in the world. These flies threaten the citrus industry in Texas, California, Florida, and Arizona, as well as Mexico and Central America. Therefore, agricultural agencies at various levels have long supported research to improve traps and lures. This research was conducted to find plant oils that are attractive to the Mexican fruit fly for the purpose of developing more powerful lures to control these pest insects. Results indicated that, of 26 natural plant and flower oils that were tested, only rose oil was attractive to the Mexican fruit fly. It is hoped that chemicals in rose oil can be identified that can augment attractiveness of existing lures. Another finding from this work was that clove bud oil is very repellent to this fly. Experiments will be conducted to determine if clove bud oil applied to fruit can prevent female flies from laying their eggs in the fruit. With more powerful lures, fruit fly infestations can be discovered at an earlier stage leading to faster and cheaper methods to bring the pests under control. Also, oils such as clove bud oil have potential as a method for control of Mexican fruit flies in organic orchards where pesticide use is not permitted.

Technical Abstract: Attractiveness of 26 plant essential oils to the Mexican fruit fly was investigated in citrus orchard experiments. Anise, rose/grape seed, and tea tree oils were more attractive than unbaited traps, but none approached the attractiveness of Advanced Pheromone Technologies’ AFF lure, a synthetic food-odor lure. Traps baited with most of the oils were less attractive than unbaited traps. Rose/grape seed oil and pure-rose oil enhanced attractiveness of AFF lures to both males and females by about 68%. Grape seed oil did not enhance the attractiveness of AFF lures demonstrating that rose oil was the active component of the rose/grape seed oil. No other oils enhanced attractiveness of AFF lures and most decreased attraction to AFF lures. The possibility is discussed that highly attractive chemicals may be present in rose oil as minor components. Traps baited with the combination of clove bud oil and the AFF lure captured only 3% as many flies as traps baited only with the AFF lure indicating that clove bud oil is highly repellent to Mexican fruit flies.