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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #402459

Research Project: Mitigation of Invasive Pest Threats to U.S. Subtropical Agriculture

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: A potential new repellent for the tea shot hole borer (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a pest of avocado in South Florida

item Cloonan, Kevin
item Montgomery, Wayne
item Tabanca, Nurhayat
item Schnell, Elena
item VAZQUEZ, AIME - Orise Fellow
item CARRILLO, DANIEL - University Of Florida
item Kendra, Paul

Submitted to: Entomological Society of America, International Branch Virtual Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/17/2023
Publication Date: 4/24/2023
Citation: Cloonan, K.R., Montgomery, W.S., Tabanca, N., Schnell, E.Q., Vazquez, A., Carrillo, D., Kendra, P.E. 2023. A potential new repellent for the tea shot hole borer (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a pest of avocado in South Florida. Entomological Society of America, International Branch Virtual Symposium.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Invasive ambrosia beetles in the Euwallacea fornicatus cryptic species complex (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) have recently established in the USA, Israel, Australia, and other countries. These wood boring weevils vector fungal pathogens that cause Fusarium dieback, a vascular disease of avocado, woody ornamentals, and native forest trees. The species in Florida, E. perbrevis, is currently monitored with a 2-component lure containing quercivorol and a-copaene. Incorporation of an effective repellent into IPM programs may reduce the incidence of dieback in Florida avocado groves, particularly if combined with lures in a push-pull system. In this study, we evaluated piperitone and a-farnesene as potential new repellents for E. perbrevis, comparing their efficacy to that of verbenone. Replicate 12-wk field tests were conducted in commercial avocado groves. Each test compared captures of beetles in sticky traps baited with the 2-component lure versus captures in traps containing lures plus repellent. To complement field tests, SuperQ collections followed by GC analyses were performed to quantify emissions from repellent dispensers over a 12-week period. In addition, electroantennography (EAG) was used to measure beetle olfactory response to each repellent. Overall, repellency was comparable with piperitone and verbenone, resulting in 50-70% decrease in beetle captures, with longevity of 10-12 weeks. No significant decrease in captures was observed with a-farnesene. EAG responses to piperitone and verbenone were equivalent, and significantly greater than response to a-farnesene. Since piperitone is less expensive than verbenone, this study identifies a new economical repellent for IPM of E. perbrevis in Florida.