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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Landolt, Peter
item Reed, H.
item Aldrich, Jeffrey
item Antonelli, A.
item Dickey, C.

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Landolt, P.J., Reed, H.C., Aldrich, J.R., Antonelli, A.L., Dickey, C. 1999. Social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) trapped with acetic acid and isobutanol. Florida Entomologist.

Interpretive Summary: New methods are needed to control insect pests that are effective and compatible with the environment. Chemical attractants may be used to control pest insects without pesticides when used as baits for traps. Researchers at the USDA, ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory are developing chemical attractants for different pest insects, based on the chemistry of fermented sugar baits. Social wasps can be serious pests of orchards and vineyards when they nest in those locations and when they feed on ripening fruit at harvest. They also pose a risk for farm workers. It was determined that a number of pestiferous species of yellowjackets, hornets, and paper wasps can be trapped with a chemical blend comprised of acetic acid and isobutanol. This group of wasps includes the German, eastern and southern yellowjackets, the bald-faced and dEuropean hornets, and a number of species of paper wasps. This informatio broadens the usefulness of this novel attractant recently developed and provides a technique for controlling populations of these pests.

Technical Abstract: The combination of acetic acid and isobutanol is attractive to different species of Vespidae in different areas of the United States and should comprise a good lure for trapping pest species. In Washington, the blend was attractive to workers and queens of Vespula pensylvanica (Saussure), Vespula germanica (F.), and workers of Dolichovespula maculata (L.). In Maryland, these chemicals were attractive to worker Vespula maculifrons (Buysson), worker V. germanica, worker Vespula squamosa (Drury), worker D. maculata, worker Vespa crabro L., and female Polistes dominulus Fab. In Oklahoma, the blend was attractive to worker V. maculifrons, worker V. squamosa, female Polistes fuscatus (Fab.), and Polistes annularis (L.). Several species were weakly attracted to acetic acid alone; V. maculifrons and D. maculata in Maryland, and V. squamosa, V. maculifrons, P. fuscatus, P. perplexus, and P. annularis in Oklahoma. Queens of V. germanica in Washington, workers of V. maculifrons in Maryland, as well as workers of V. squamosa and V. maculifrons in Oklahoma were weakly attracted to isobutanol alone.

Last Modified: 09/23/2017
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