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Combined approaches using sex pheromone and pear ester for behavioural disruption of codling moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)



Attractive properties of pear ester, ethyl (E,Z)-2,4-decadienoate, and codlemone, (E,E)-8,10-dodecadien-1-ol, the sex pheromone of codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.), were utilized in experiments on behavioural disruption of mating. Standard dispensers loaded with codlemone alone or in combination with pear ester (combo) were applied at 500–1000/ha. Larger (10-fold) combo dispensers (Meso) were evaluated at a rate of 80/ha. The addition of microencapsulated pear ester, PE-MEC, sprayed with insecticides at 30 ml/ha was also evaluated. Male moth catches in unmated female-baited traps were lower in standard combo dispenser than in codlemone dispenser–treated plots. Female moth catch in traps baited with the combination of pear ester, codlemone and acetic acid was lower in standard combo dispenser than in codlemone dispenser–treated plots. In 12 comparative experiments spanning from 2006 to 2012, male moth catch in unmated female-baited traps was consistently and significantly lower in combo than in codlemone dispenser–treated plots. Male catch in codlemone-baited traps did not differ between dispenser treatments in eight studies from 2006 to 2009. These results emphasize the benefit of alternatively using traps baited with unmated females over codlemone lures for the analysis of dispenser activity. Fruit injury was significantly reduced with the addition of PE-MEC to insecticide applications across untreated and dispenser treatments. Proportion of unmated females trapped was higher in standard combo dispenser than in codlemone dispenser–treated and untreated plots. Similarly, the proportion of unmated females caught was higher in the Meso combo dispenser than in nearby or distant codlemone dispenser–treated plots. These field studies conducted in apple over 3 years demonstrate that adding pear ester both to pheromone dispensers, either standard or Meso, and to supplementary insecticide sprays can provide a significant increase in the disruption of sexual communication, reductions in female mating and reductions in fruit injury.