Prospects for the control of apple leaf midge Dasineura mali (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) by mass trapping with pheromone lures




Apple leaf midge, Dasineura mali (Kieffer), poses quarantine issues for some apple export markets because larvae occasionally pupate in the stem end and calyx of fruit. Pheromone-baited oil-filled containers were used in 1 ha orchard plots to trap adult male D. mali in order to test the potential for mass trapping to reduce populations.


Mass-trapped plots had 97% fewer adult males in pheromone traps and 48% fewer larvae per shoot in the second D. mali generation compared with untreated areas. Oil traps caught on average 900 000 D. mali per plot over 11 weeks during the second and third generations. Catches averaged 9200 per trap at plot corners. By comparison, catches were 51% lower 10–25 m away along borders, 80% lower at the midpoint of borders and 95% lower >7 m from plot edges. Fruit infestation was low (four out of 8000 apples).


The attractiveness of the pheromone, monophagous habit and low mobility of D. mali enhance the prospects for successful mass trapping. Countering this are high populations, multivoltinism and aspects of mating behaviour. Mass trapping would probably have been more effective had it been in place season long and conducted over successive years. It needs refinements and more study before becoming a feasible control option for D. mali. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry