Sprayable, microencapsulated (MEC) sex pheromone formulations represent a promising tool for achieving mating disruption, yet often lack sustained effectiveness in the field, making repeated applications necessary. This study evaluated the impact of adding Purespray Green horticultural oil as an adjuvant to 3M MEC-LR, an MEC formulation of (Z)-11-tetradecenyl acetate, on disruption of mate-finding behavior in Choristoneura rosaceana (Harris) in small-plot trials in experimental apple orchards. Treatments consisting of MEC-LR in water, MEC-LR in water 2% (vol:vol) Purespray Green, and a water control were applied to plots of apple using an airblast sprayer at a rate of 100 g of pheromone/ha. Disruption caused by foliar treatments was evaluated over a 7-wk period using mark-release recapture experiments in the field and concurrent bioassays in a flight tunnel. Disruption of orientation to 2-d-old, calling, virgin females was used as a measure of treatment effect in all experiments. Both pheromone alone and pheromone oil treatments significantly disrupted male mate-finding behavior for a period of ≥21 d in flight tunnel assays and ≥42 d in mark-recapture field trials. The addition of oil did not significantly enhance the disruption activity nor increase the longevity of the MEC pheromone formulation. Our results show the compatibility of spraying MEC pheromone with a horticultural oil, and techniques for applying an oil-pheromone formulation to maximize the control impact of this combination are discussed.
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