Submitted to: National Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/12/2010
Publication Date: 12/12/2010
Citation: Carpenter, J.E. 2010. Diversity in Control and Management Techniques for Cactoblastis cactorum and Its Response in its Adventive North American Range. National Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting. December 11-16,2010. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The South American cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), is celebrated for its role as a biological control agent for weedy Opuntia spp. However, multiple unintentional arrivals of C. cactorum in North America represent an economical and ecological threat to native Opuntia spp. in USA and Mexico. To address the advancement of C. cactorum along the southeastern Gulf coast of USA and new incursions into Mexico, control tactics including sanitation and the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) were developed, validated and implemented. In the SIT validation study, sanitation alone reduced moth populations, but sanitation coupled with SIT lowered the population to immeasurable levels. Effective overflooding ratios (~10:1) (sterile:wild males caught in traps) and collection of eggsticks from wild female with sterile male matings indicated that sterile males were competitive with wild males. Sanitation and host plant removal were part of a multifaceted control program along the Gulf coast and on Isla Mujeres, Mexico, and sanitation and SIT were used on Isla Contoy, Mexico, and on several USA coastal islands. Implementation of the SIT and sanitation efforts reduced the pest’s westward USA advance and eradicated it from Mexico and several barrier islands along the USA coast. Development and implementation of the SIT to limit the threat of C. cactorum in this bi-national program can serve as an inspiration and a model for addressing future invasions of exotic lepidopteran pests.