Grape root borer, Vitacea polistiformis (Harris) (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae), is an important pest of cultivated grapes (Vitis spp.) in the eastern United States from Michigan to Florida. There are few registered insecticides for control of this pest, and their efficacy is limited. Pheromone-based mating disruption is a potential alternative to insecticides for management of V. polistiformis. Wax-based Specialized Pheromone & Lure Application Technology (SPLAT) was tested as a mating disruption method. Deployment densities of 150 dispensers per ha dosed with 5 mg of V. polistiformis pheromone were sufficient to achieve 95% mating disruption during a 7-wk trapping period. The disruption mechanism was determined to be competitive attraction. The release rate of pheromone from these dispensers was quantified to be approximately linear, 77.4 µg/g SPLAT/d. At this release rate, a minimum initial load of 5.4 mg of pheromone per dispenser would be needed to maintain disruption over a 9-10-wk V. polistiformis flight season, ≈19 August to 21 October in central Florida. It should be noted, however, that the main pheromone component alone, (E,Z)-2,13-octadecadienyl acetate (ODDA), was effective (presumably by a noncompetitive mechanism) at higher loads per area of crop. Due to the cost of synthesis of highly pure isomers of the V. polistiformis pheromone components, mating disruption of V. polistiformis may be more practical with higher doses of commercially produced Zeuzera pyrina L. blend [95% (E,Z)-2,13-ODDA:5% (E,Z)-3,13-octadecadien1-ol] or with (E,Z)-2,13-ODDA alone than with the V. polistiformis blend at lower rates.
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Vol. 104 • No. 3