The discovery that the eastern tent caterpillar Malacosoma americanum (F.) causes mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS), and thus has the potential to continue to result in major economic losses to the equine industry of Kentucky, has resulted in an intensive effort to identify practical means to monitor and control this defoliator, including these experiments to optimize a sex pheromone trap for this pest. A pheromone-baited delta trap with a large opening, such as InterceptST Delta, was more effective than other tested traps. Orange delta traps caught more moths than other tested colors. ETC males are caught at all tested heights within the tree canopy. For monitoring flights, setting traps at 1.5 m would allow easy counting of moths. A 9:1 blend of (E,Z)-5,7-dodecadienal (ETC-Ald) and (E,Z)-5,7-dodecadienol (ETC-OH) was most effective in capturing males. Increasing loading doses of a 3:1 blend (Ald:OH) resulted in the capture of increasing numbers of moths, but a 9:1 blend was more effective than 3:1 blend even at a nine-fold lower loading rate. Pheromone-impregnated white septa caught more moths than gray septa at the same loading dose. The advantages and limitations of using pheromone traps for monitoring M. americanum are discussed.
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