Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/28/2008
Publication Date: 6/1/2009
Citation: Leskey, T.C., Bergh, J., Walgenbach, J.F., Zhang, A. 2009. Evaluation of Pheromone-Based Strategies for the Dogwood Borer on Commercial Apple Orchards. Journal of Economic Entomology. 102(3):1085-1093.
Interpretive Summary: The dogwood borer is a serious wood-boring pest of apple in eastern North America. Feeding by developing larvae in burr knots and other woody tissues can lead to girdling and weakening trees. The recent identification of the sex pheromone and an inhibitory compound of the dogwood borer allowed us to evaluate mass trapping and mating disruption strategies to control this pest. Mass trapping is based on using pheromone-baited traps to remove large numbers of males from the population such that females remain unmated and incapable of reproduction. Although we removed large numbers of males from orchards located in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, infestation was not reduced to the level of conventional Lorsban-treated plots. However, a preliminary mating disruption study which utilized the inhibitory compound (the main pheromone component of the closely-related lesser peachtree borer) effectively disrupted mate-finding by male dogwood borer and appears to hold promise as a management strategy.
Technical Abstract: The dogwood borer, Synanthedon scitula (Harris) (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae), is a serious wood-boring pest of apple in eastern North America. The recent identification of its sex pheromone and a potent behavioral antagonist affords the opportunity to develop pheromone based management strategies for this important pest. Here we evaluated the potential of pheromone-based mass trapping of males to reduce dogwood borer infestations and conducted preliminary evaluations of an antagonist-based pheromone blend for disruption of dogwood borer mate finding in commercial apple orchards in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. In the mass trapping study, treatments included a conventional trunk-drench application of chlorpyrifos, a low density mass trapping regime of 5 traps per ha, a higher density mass trapping regime of 20 traps per ha, and an untreated control. We removed large numbers of males from orchards at all locations with 27,155, 8,418, and 7,281 removed from high density trapping plots in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, respectively, over two years. However, we also found that after two years under each of these treatment regimes, infestation in high and low density mass trapping plots was not reduced to the level of chlorpyrifos-treated plots. An antagonist-based blend effectively disrupted mate-finding by male dogwood borer; captures in pheromone-baited traps were virtually eliminated and no males were captured in traps baited with virgin females.