Tuta absoluta Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), a pest of tomato, was recently detected in Panama in Central America and now threatens to expand into the important tomato production areas of Mexico and the United States. Moths caught in T. absoluta pheromone-baited traps must be removed and dissected to confirm the species present before containment and mitigation strategies are put in place. Timely processing of traps can be hindered by the presence of numerous similar nontarget moths that cannot be easily prescreened. Trapping systems using dry bucket traps or Delta traps with either hot melt pressure sensitive adhesives (HMPSA) or cool melt adhesives were evaluated for their effectiveness in trapping T. absoluta and for their ease in allowing identification of nontarget moths. Delta traps in Panama with HMPSA and cool melt adhesives both trapped T. absoluta with equal efficacy. In Florida, nontarget moths were easier to prescreen from bucket traps and HMPSA inserts. Importantly, moths found in bucket traps as well as on cool melt adhesive inserts were of a lower quality than those on HMPSA inserts, making identification more difficult. Studies conducted in Florida and Panama tomato and potato fields showed that commercially produced pheromones containing only the main pheromone component ((3E, 8Z, 11Z)-tetradecatrien-1-yl acetate) or containing both the main and minor pheromone component ((3E, 8Z)-tetradecadien-1-yl) attracted nontarget moths. Survey programs, particularly large-scale ones, should consider the application of alternative trapping systems or new adhesives available in order to facilitate the visual prescreening of nontarget moths.
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