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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Commodity Protection and Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #205644

Title: Effects of mating disruption treatments on navel orangeworm (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) sexual communication and damage in almonds and pistachios

item Burks, Charles - Chuck

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/9/2008
Publication Date: 10/3/2008
Citation: Higbee, B.S., Burks, C.S. 2008. Effects of mating disruption treatments on navel orangeworm (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) sexual communication and damage in almonds and pistachios. Journal of Economic Entomology. 101: 1633-1642.

Interpretive Summary: The navel orangeworm is a primary insect pest of almonds and pistachios, crops with an estimated value of $2.9 billion (unprocessed) in 2005. Mating disruption is a promising technology for controlling this lepidopteran pest. In this study we found that timed release aerosol emitters spaced evenly throughout the treated area worked better than alternative methods of emitting navel orangeworm sex pheromone; that we could reduce crop damage in almonds more readily than pistachios; and that a combination treatment using mating disruption and insecticide worked better than either treatment by itself. These results will improve methods for and encourage use of mating disruption against this important pest.

Technical Abstract: We compared mating disruption treatments for control of navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker), in almonds and pistachios; and we compared efficacy in almonds of mating disruption alone or in combination with insecticide. Evenly spaced (gridded) or peripherally arranged timed aerosol release devices (Puffers) and a membrane emitter were compared in almonds, and the two Puffer arrangements and treatment with azinphosmethyl were compared in pistachios. Gridded Puffers were more effective than other mating disruption treatments in reducing males captured in virgin female baited traps and mating in sentinel females. In Nonpareil almonds with high navel orangeworm activity there was less damage in gridded Puffer treatment plots compared to untreated controls. In pistachios there was no difference between navel orangeworm damage in mating disruption treatments and untreated controls, and significantly less damage in insecticide-treated plots. In a comparison in almonds of gridded Puffers, phosmet, both in combination, and untreated controls, there was significantly less navel orangeworm damage to Nonpareil in the gridded Puffer treatment than in untreated control plots, and significantly less damage in phosmet plots compared to those treated with Puffers only. In Carmel and Monterey, almond varieties harvested later than Nonpareil, there was a significant reduction of damage in phosmet plots but not in those treated with Puffers only. While control of navel orangeworm damage with mating disruption was more readily achieved in pistachios than almonds, this technology would probably work best as a component of an IPM program in the context of an areawide program involving both crops.