Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #303352

Title: Polistes spp. (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) orientation to wine and vinegar

item Landolt, Peter
item Cha, Dong
item Werle, Christopher
item Adamczyk, John
item Meagher, Robert - Rob
item GILBRIDE, R - United States Air Force
item CLEPPER, T - United States Air Force
item REED, H - Oral Roberts University
item Teal, Peter
item Sampson, Blair

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/17/2014
Publication Date: 12/1/2014
Citation: Landolt, P.J., Cha, D.H., Werle, C.T., Adamczyk Jr, J.J., Meagher Jr, R.L., Gilbride, R., Clepper, T., Reed, H.C., Teal, P.E., Sampson, B.J. 2014. Polistes spp. (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) orientation to wine and vinegar. Florida Entomologist. 97(4):1620-1630.

Interpretive Summary: Social wasps are a stinging hazard, including in many fruit cropping systems where they also do direct feeding damage to trees and fruits, and at tall structures such as towers where some species form mating and overwintering aggregations. Chemical attractants are of use against these wasps as lures for traps and baits. Researchers at the USDA-ARS Laboratories in Wapato, WA, Poplarville, MS, and Gainesville, FL, and Oral Roberts University of Tulsa, OK, along with U.S. Air Force personnel at Moody Air Force Base, Valdosta, Georgia and Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter, SC, evaluated the attraction responses of several species of stinging wasps to wine and vinegar, and ethanol and acetic acid which are major volatiles of wine and vinegar. The paper wasps Polistes bellicosus and Polistes metricus were captured in traps baited with a mixture of wine and vinegar, or with wine alone. Laboratory assays showed that P. bellicosus wasps are attracted to wine and not vinegar,and are attracted to ethanol (a major volatile of wine) and not acetic acid (a major volatile of vinegar). This work suggests that wine might be used as a trap bait for these wasps, and suggests that chemical attractants might be isolated from wine volatiles in addition to ethanol to constitute a lure used to reduce wasp numbers where they constitute a problem or threat.

Technical Abstract: The paper wasps Polistes metricus Say and Polistes bellicosus Cresson were captured in Mississippi in traps baited with a mixture of a Merlot wine and a rice vinegar put in the field for spotted wing drosophila Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura). In a subsequent field test, P. bellicosus and P. metricus wasps were again trapped with the mixture of wine plus vinegar, and not in unbaited traps. Polistes bellicosus responses to wine, vinegar, ethanol (as a major volatile of wine), and acetic acid (as a major volatile of vinegar) were evaluated using a Y-tube olfactometer. In the olfactometer, P. bellicosus wasps were attracted to wine and not by vinegar. They also preferred wine alone to wine with vinegar, and were attracted to ethanol but were deterred by acetic acid. In a field test comparing traps baited with wine, vinegar and a combination of the two materials, P. bellicosus, P. metricus , and Polistes fuscatus were captured in traps baited with wine, but were not captured with vinegar. The inclusion of vinegar with wine did not improve bait attractiveness. We conclude that the paper wasp response to the spotted wing drosophila bait of wine plus vinegar was the result of wasp response to wine alone. This work constitutes the first demonstration of an attractive bait that can be used to trap P. bellicosus and P. metricus in situations where they are pestiferous, and suggests a potential source of a chemical attractant based on wine volatiles.