The navel orangeworm is the primary insect pest of almonds in California, and egg traps are the primary means of monitoring this pest. A previous study found that the current use of 2–4 traps per 64 ha block usually is not sufficient to provide management information specifically for that block. In this study, we compare data from large grids of egg traps in varied commercial almond orchards with trapping data for females and males, with the objective of finding a more cost-effective monitoring program using currently available attractants. The proportion of egg traps with eggs was highly correlated with mean eggs per egg trap, and with females and males trapped simultaneously at the same location. Almond variety and the type of bait used had little impact on the relationship between the proportion of egg traps with eggs and the number of eggs per traps. Traps in orchards with more unharvested (mummy) almonds had more eggs, suggesting that navel orangeworm abundance affected traps more than competition from mummies. Laboratory experiments comparing age-specific oviposition in two-choice and no-choice situations found that younger, more fecund females laid a greater proportion of eggs on the preferred substrate in a two-choice situation, but that age-specific fecundity was not different between substrates in no-choice tests. These findings indicate that the proportion of egg traps with eggs provides a more stable indication of navel orangeworm phenology than mean eggs per trap. We suggest that similar information could be obtained in a more cost-effective manner with female trapping.
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