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Title: Trapping social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in nurseries with acetic acid and isobutanol

item OLIVER, JASON - Tennessee State University
item Landolt, Peter
item YOUSSEL, NADEER - Tennessee State University
item BASHAM, JOSHUA - Tennessee State University
item HALCOMB, MARK - University Of Tennessee
item VAIL, KAREN - Tennessee State University
item ADDESSO, KARLA - Tennessee State University

Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/24/2014
Publication Date: 10/21/2014
Citation: Oliver, J.B., Landolt, P.J., Youssel, N.N., Basham, J., Halcomb, M.A., Vail, K.M., Addesso, K.M. 2014. Trapping social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in nurseries with acetic acid and isobutanol. Journal of Entomological Science. 49:352-368.

Interpretive Summary: Social wasps are a stinging hazard for farm workers in many cropping systems and also cause direct feeding damage to trees and fruits. Chemical attractants are of use against these wasps as lures for traps and baits. Researchers at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory collaborating with scientists at the University of Tennessee, McMinnville, TN, surveyed social wasps through two seasons in tree nurseries, using achemical attractant composed of acetic acid and isobutanol as a bait in traps. Traps captured worker wasps of all pestiferous species of yellowjackets, hornets, and paper wasps. Spring queens of the most important pest species were captured, and greatest numbers were captured in open fields rather than in woodlands. This work suggests that the lure and trap may be useful for removing numbers of these wasps from an area where they are problematic and suggests future work to reduce numbers of nests by trapping out spring queens before nests are started.

Technical Abstract: European hornet (Vespa crabro L.) damages bark of nursery trees, and several vespids sting nursery personnel when disturbed. We tested acetic acid and isobutanol lures in traps for V. crabro spring queens, to determine the seasonality of vespid captures, and compare the efficacy of patterns of trap placement in Tennessee nurseries. Forty traps in transects from nursery fields into the forest captured 547 vespid queens during 2001 and 2002. These were 78.8% Vespula maculifrons (Buysson), 6.9% Vespula squamosa (Drury), 6.8% V. crabro, 4.8% Dolichovespula maculata (L.), 2.6% Vespula flavopilosa Jacobson, and 0.2% Vespula vidua (Saussure). Total worker and male wasp captures in these traps were 2,525 and 28, respectively. Polistes spp. (n=416) were also trapped. Peak queen trap catch was in April for V. crabro, June for V. maculifrons, and in May for other Vespula. Numbers of worker wasps captured were greater within fields or at field-forest edges compared to within forest, except D. maculata. Numbers of V. maculifrons, V. squamosa, and D. maculata queens trapped were greater in some open fields. The study demonstrated a strong response of V. crabro and several Vespula spp. to the lure, showed spring queen captures of V. crabro and other wasps, and indicated that trapping may be most effective in open nursery fields. The trapping of queens indicates some potential for reducing colony founding by queen removal in spring.