Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Pheromone Sprayer Leads Amorous Moths Astray

Date:
October 10, 2007
Source:
US Department of Agriculture
Summary:
For decades, apple and pear growers have "adorned" their orchards with hundreds of plastic dispensers that emit a chemical sex attractant, or pheromone, to disrupt codling moth mating. A new spraying method done four to six times a season disrupted codling moth mating as effectively as the time-consuming hand-hung dispensers.

The new low-volume spray technique developed by ARS entomologist Alan Knight delivers active materials to a tree canopy in a stream and reduces water use from 100 gallons per acre (for the old method, air-blasting) to just 1.25 gallons.
Credit: Stephen Ausmus

For decades, apple and pear growers have "adorned" their orchards with hundreds of plastic dispensers that emit a chemical sex attractant, or pheromone, to disrupt codling moth mating. Now, thanks to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) studies in Wapato, Wash., growers could soon be spraying the pheromone instead.

Growers customarily hang the pheromone dispensers from tree limbs by hand—often 200 to 400 of them per acre. It's a laborious, costly affair, notes Alan Knight, an entomologist with ARS' Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory in Wapato.

Although spraying pheromone isn't a new idea, early attempts stumbled on technological hurdles. In 2003, Knight decided to give it a try based on a 1999 observation he had made while testing a fluorescent dye he had added to a sprayable, microencapsulated pheromone product developed by a Bend, Ore., company.

Using the dye and a black light to examine microcapsule densities on tree leaves, Knight determined the codling moth pheromone's delivery could be improved using ultra-low-volume (ULV) spraying. Besides cutting water use from 100 gallons to 1.25 gallons per acre, Knight's approach increased the microencapsulated pheromone's deposition rate by six- to 10-fold.

His trials in apple and pear orchards since 2003 show that ULV spraying four to six times a season disrupted codling moth mating as effectively as the hand-hung dispensers. Knight determined this from captured-moth counts and reductions in fruit damage. In 2005, he expanded the studies to include ULV spraying of the insecticide esfenvalerate, which curbed moth egg-laying by 95 percent.

If unchecked, hatchling moth larvae waste little time boring inside nearby fruit, ruining its marketability. Besides apples and pears, the pests also attack walnuts.

Knight is testing reduced-insecticide rates in combination with the pheromone. And to the sprayer itself, he's making adjustments that include adding an electronic "eye" to direct pulses of material into the center of a tree's canopy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Department of Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Department of Agriculture. "New Pheromone Sprayer Leads Amorous Moths Astray." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071006084126.htm>.
US Department of Agriculture. (2007, October 10). New Pheromone Sprayer Leads Amorous Moths Astray. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071006084126.htm
US Department of Agriculture. "New Pheromone Sprayer Leads Amorous Moths Astray." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071006084126.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins