The efficacy of mating disruption by using Isomate-M 100 pheromone dispensers and two formulations of microencapsulated sprayable pheromone for management of oriental fruit moth, Grapholita molesta (Busck), was compared with conventional insecticides in large plot studies in Henderson County, North Carolina, in 2000 and 2001. In addition, experiments were conducted in small and large plots to test the response of oriental fruit moth males to different application rates of sprayable pheromone. Pheromone trap catches were significantly reduced in mating disruption blocks compared with conventional and abandoned orchards. Pheromone traps placed in the upper canopy captured significantly more moths than traps placed in the lower canopy across all treatments, and lures loaded with 100 μg of pheromone caught more moths than traps with 300 μg, but the difference between doses was statistically significant at only one location in 2001. Isomate-M 100 provided excellent trap shutdown and was significantly more effective than sprayable pheromone formulations. Fruit damage by oriental fruit moth larvae was very low (≤1%) in mating disruption blocks and was generally lower than in conventional and nonmanaged blocks. Based on male moth response to pheromone traps in small plots, there was little difference among doses of sprayable pheromone, ranging from 12.4 to 49.1 g (AI)/ha, but efficacy declined at 2.4 g (AI)/ha. With the exception of one orchard, there was no significant difference between 12.4 and 37.1 g (AI)/ha under low and high oriental fruit moth population pressure in large plot studies. Mating disruption proved to be an alternative to organophosphate insecticides for managing oriental fruit moth populations in North Carolina apple orchards.
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