The antiaggregation pheromone 3-methylcyclohex-2-en-1-one (MCH) is highly effective in preventing the infestation of high-risk trees by Douglas-fir beetle, Dendroctonus pseudotsugae Hopkins. A large portion of the cost of an MCH treatment is related to the time applicators spend walking through an area dispersing the formulated pheromone. Application of fewer MCH dispensers eluting at a higher rate than those currently registered for operational use could potentially reduce treatment costs. Two higher elution rates, 6 and 18 mg/d per dispenser, were compared with the current standard of 2 mg/d per dispenser and an untreated control on 1-ha circular plots. Dispensers were spaced 5, 15, and 44 m apart around the plot perimeters eluting 2, 6, and 18 mg/d, respectively. The nominal dose of MCH was 144 mg/ha/d on all plots. Percentages of Douglas-fir trees ≥20 cm diameter at breast height mass attacked by Douglas-fir beetle were significantly lower on plots treated with dispensers eluting 2 and 6 mg/d and spaced 5 and 15 m apart, respectively, compared with the untreated control. Infestation rate on plots treated with dispensers eluting 18 mg/d and spaced 44 m apart was not significantly different from the control. Douglas-fir beetle abundance and host tree availability were similar on all plots. These results indicate that MCH dispensers eluting 6 mg/d (three times the current standard rate) and spaced 15 m apart (three times existing standard distance) can effectively prevent Douglas-fir beetle infestations.
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