Egg traps are the primary tool for monitoring egg deposition of the navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), and for timing treatments for this pest in almonds, Prunus amygdalus Batsch, and pistachios, Pistacia vera L. We compared, in almond and pistachio orchards, the number of eggs per trap in traps baited with almond meal, pistachio meal, or the current standard commercial bait. When considering cumulative eggs captured over an extended period, traps baited with pistachio meal prepared from previous-crop nuts generally captured a similar number of eggs compared with the commercial bait, and more eggs than those baited with almond meal prepared from previous-crop nuts. However, differences in eggs per trap between bait formulations were not as evident when examining individual weeks, particularly in weeks with few eggs per trap, as is typical when treatment decisions are made. The variance in eggs per trap was generally greater than the mean and increased with the mean and, when mean eggs per trap was low, most traps did not have eggs. We discuss implications of these findings for the relative importance of bait type and trap numbers for monitoring, and for experiments comparing egg trap performance.
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Vol. 104 • No. 1