We examined the extent to which verbenone, a bark beetle antiaggregation pheromone, interrupted the semiochemical-based attraction of ambrosia beetles. Field trapping studies conducted in Ohio showed that a verbenone dispenser with a release rate of 50 mg/d at 25°C reduced the attraction of Anisandrus sayi Hopkins, Euwallacea validus (Eichhoff), Hypothenemus dissimilis (Zimmermann), Xylosandrus germanus (Blandford), and Xyleborinus saxesenii (Ratzeburg) to ethanol-baited traps. A verbenone dispenser attached to ethanol-injected Magnolia virginiana L. trap trees deployed in Ohio also reduced ambrosia beetle attacks compared to trap trees without a verbenone dispenser. Subsequent field trials demonstrated a direct relationship between distance from a verbenone dispenser and ambrosia beetle attacks on trap trees in Ohio in 2011 and 2012 and Tennessee in 2012, but not in Tennessee and Virginia in 2011. Assessment of the influence of verbenone on the probability of attacks above a density threshold found that although attacks occurred on trap trees regardless of their proximity to a verbenone dispenser, the higher density of attacks per tree occurred on trap trees farthest away from the verbenone source in Ohio and Tennessee. Verbenone alone could be somewhat useful for discouraging ambrosia beetle attacks on individual trees or on a small spatial scale, but deployment of verbenone might be most effective when integrated as part of a “push-pull” strategy.
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Vol. 42 • No. 3