Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) is a serious and widespread postharvest pest on cereal products, dried fruits, candy, and pet food. Due to the strong positive anemotactic flight response of P. interpunctella males to the main component of the female-produced pheromone [(Z,E)-9,12-tetradecadienyl acetate, herein referred to as ZETA], we evaluated the potential of an attracticide for this pest, in which ZETA as attractant was combined with permethrin as the killing agent. Two concentrations of ZETA [0.16 and 0.32% (wt:wt)] and five concentrations of permethrin [0, 3, 6, 12, and 18% (wt:wt)] were incorporated into Last Call gel (10 different permethrin:ZETA combinations). All attracticide gels were evaluated in a toxicity test, in which either the tip of a leg or an antenna of a virgin P. interpunctella male was touched <3 s into a dot of attracticide gel. These males were subsequently transferred to jars with virgin females. The toxicity test showed that a brief and gentle contact of P. interpunctella males with attracticide gel containing 3–18% permethrin caused a significant reduction in mating and killed males moths within 24 h. A wind tunnel test was conducted to evaluate the flight responses of P. interpunctella males to the same 10 attracticide gels. Male moths displayed significantly higher levels of positive anemotactic flight and more males made contact with the attracticide gel when the ZETA concentration was 0.16% compared with 0.32%. P. interpunctella males showed no signs of repellency to permethrin concentrations within a range of 0–18% in the attracticide gel. Three densities of P. interpunctella pairs were released into small warehouse rooms, and we found that the attracticide gel suppressed oviposition when the moth density was at a low level, but it was ineffective when the moth density exceeded one male-female pair per 11.3 m3.
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Vol. 97 • No. 2