The University of California at Davis patented the use of emulsified wax to release pheromones for mating disruption. Advantages of these dispensers include low cost, self-adhesion, and biodegradation. We compared the efficacy and practicality of Confuse-OFM, a commercial emulsified wax formulation of oriental fruit moth, Grapholita molesta (Busck), pheromone with those of CheckMate OFM-F sprayable pheromone and Isomate-M 100 polyethylene tube dispensers in commercial peach (Prunus spp.) orchards. Efficacy was measured with male captures in pheromone-, virgin female-, and liquid attractant-baited bucket traps as well as by noting injury to shoots and fruit. Two applications of Confuse-OFM were as effective as two applications of CheckMate OFM-F and one application of Isomate-M 100. However, Confuse-OFM was tedious to apply and wasted pheromone with an initially high release rate. We developed a new emulsified wax formulation (Wax Dollops) that maintained release rates above a 5 mg/ha/h threshold twice as long as Confuse-OFM in the laboratory. Field trials confirmed that one application of 3-ml dollops (590 dollops per ha) provided season-long (≈15 wk) control equivalent to that of Isomate-M 100 and Confuse-OFM applied as described above. Several applicators were developed for Wax Dollops, including a pneumatic gun that shot dollops >2 m. However, the most efficient method for application was wiping dollops onto tree branches by using a flat-bladed spatula. This research was the basis for a new line of commercial pheromone pest control products equally effective to current commercial formulations but with advantages in cost and flexibility.
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Vol. 100 • No. 4