Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/9/2008
Publication Date: 10/24/2008
Citation: Koppenhofer, A.M., Behle, R.W., Dunlap, C.A., Fisher, J., Laird, C., Vittum, P.J. 2008. Pellet Formulations of Sex Pheromone Components for Mating Disruption of Oriental Beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in Turfgrass. Environmental Entomology. 37(5):1126-1135.
Interpretive Summary: The oriental beetle is an imported pest of turfgrass in the Northeastern United States. Liquid applications of the beetle’s sex pheromone to disrupt mating have demonstrated the potential to control this pest without the application of toxic insecticides, except that multiple applications are required, and contamination of clothing worn in the treated area becomes a problem by attracting beetles to undesirable locations. Formulating the pheromone in wax pellets (granules) solves these problems by providing slow release of the pheromone over several weeks while the beetles are active and by placing the pheromone in the sod where it will not contact or contaminate clothing of persons working or playing in the treated area. Successful development of these formulations provides a non-toxic pest control solution for use in parks, golf courses, and home turfgrass environments.
Technical Abstract: A previous study showed that sprayable sex pheromone formulations for mating disruption to control the oriental beetle, Anomala orientalis Waterhouse, had limited persistence and contaminated shoes worn in the treated areas. Contamination of shoes created a nuisance by attracting male beetles when outside of pheromone treated area. To mitigate the problems associated with the sprayable formulation, wax pellet formulations containing sex pheromone were tested for efficacy in managing A. orientalis in turfgrass. Four pellet formulations were field tested at 25 grams pheromone per hectare during 2006 and 2007. Application patterns included pellets specifically placed in a uniform grid pattern and pellets scattered as by a broadcast spreader. Treatment efficacy was measured by monitoring male A. orientalis captures in pheromone-baited traps, determining mating success of confined virgin females and estimating subsequent densities of A. orientalis larvae in soil/sod samples from treated plots. All formulation and application pattern combinations effectively suppressed mating for 2 weeks after application as measured by reduction in male trap captures and mating success of confined virgins. Two formulations gradually lost efficacy beginning 2 weeks after application, the two others after 3–4 weeks. Application pattern had no effect on trap captures. The most effective formulation reduced trap captures by greater than or equal to 90% for 36 days and mating success of confined females by 86–100% until 24 days after treatment and reduced A. orientalis larval populations by 69%. Shoes walked through treated areas 1 day after application did not attract male beetles. Pellet formulations have great potential for A. orientalis mating disruption, but more research is needed to optimize performance.