The reluctance of Israeli vine growers to adopt the mating disruption technique to control the moth Lobesia botrana Den. & Schiff. has been attributed to the high cost of this method compared with that of traditional insecticide control. In this study, we tested the possibility of reducing the cost, first by testing different pheromone formulations (and thus open the market for competition) and second by reducing the pheromone concentration used in vineyards. Comparisons were made between two pheromone formulations—Shin-Etsu (Tokyo, Japan) at 165 g/ha and Concep (Sutera, Bend, OR) at 150 g/ha—and between two concentrations of Shin-Etsu, 165 and 110 g/ha. Pheromone dispensers were placed at the onset of the second moth generation. Comparison of the numbers of clusters infested with eggs and larvae of L. botrana showed no significant differences in the performance, either between the two formulations, or between the two tested concentrations. The results suggest that 1) the two formulations are equally effective, and 2) a low pheromone concentration is sufficient to maintain good control of small populations of L. botrana. However, when the population is high, pest control efficacy is not improved by increasing the pheromone concentration. Therefore, in the interest of reducing the relatively high cost of mating disruption, we emphasize that increasing the pheromone concentration does not provide improved control of high populations of L. botrana. The cost of mating disruption can be diminished by reducing the applied pheromone concentration and by using the least expensive pheromone formulations
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Vol. 98 • No. 1