Pheromone dose, effective trapping distance, and longevity of the rubber septa loaded with sex pheromone of Cylas formicarius (F.) (Coleoptera: Brentidae) were evaluated for their impact on the efficacy of mass trapping of the insect in sweet potato fields in Guam in 2012–2013. The number of adults caught at different distances (10–100 m) was significantly different. Catches declined with increasing release distance from the trap in both downwind and upwind directions. While the maximum radius of attraction of pheromone-baited trap for C. formicarius in the field was 80 m, the effective distance for recapturing marked adults in the pheromone-baited Unitraps was 60 m. Pheromone lures were able to capture adults of C. formicarius after being stored in the laboratory for up to 98 d. The number of catches per trap per week was highest when lures were 0–14- and 15–28-d-old, and longer storage of septa led to a progressive reduction of catches. Pheromone traps baited with 100-µg lures captured significantly more adults compared with those loaded with 10-µg lures. In addition, effectiveness of pheromone trapping on damage to sweet potato was tested at two locations. Number of trapped adults, damage level at different times after trap installation, and yield production were evaluated. The number of C. formicarius adults collected in traps at both locations fluctuated dramatically among sampling dates and peaked on 13 September 2013, after which time the number of captures noticeably declined. This decrease was correlated to the increasing age and depletion of the pheromone lures. Pheromone traps significantly reduced feeding damage caused by weevils (<1 feeding hole per root in treatment; up to 38 feeding holes per root in the control) at both locations. Being consistent with damage levels, sweet potato yields in fields with traps were higher than those in untreated controls. We conclude that pheromone-baited traps are effective in reducing damage due to C. formicarius.
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Vol. 43 • No. 3