A case study of a pheromone-based attract-and-kill management strategy for codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.), was conducted to examine key insect behavioral factors mitigating the possible effectiveness of this strategy. Last Call CM is a newly registered attracticide product that combines the primary component of codling moth sex pheromone with the insecticide permethrin. Studies of competition between pheromone point sources within caged trees showed individual attracticide droplets were significantly more attractive to male moths than calling females. In commercial orchard blocks, marked male moths were recaptured after visiting attracticide droplets applied at rates of 50, 100, and 200 droplets/ha, although no marked moths were recaptured in plots with 500 droplets/ha. This experiment also revealed no significant differences among 0, 50, 100, and 200 droplets/ha in suppressing total catch in female-baited traps, nor were total numbers of females attracting at least one male reduced significantly. In plots with 500 droplets/ha applied, male moth catch was suppressed significantly compared with catches in untreated control plots, and the number of females attracting at least one male was reduced significantly as well. Experiments investigating sublethal physiological effects of attracticide exposure upon mating competency of male codling moths demonstrated male leg autotomy at 1, 24, 48, and 72 h after exposure. Male codling moth at 1, 24, 48, and 72 h after exposure placed near calling virgin females exhibited significant behavioral differences from sham-treated males in courtship and mating. These results clarify some of the possible mechanisms, and strengths and weaknesses of this attract-and-kill management strategy for codling moth.
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