Areawide mating disruption treatments have been effective in controlling infestation of oriental fruit moth, Grapholita molesta (Busck) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), in Australian pome and stone fruit orchards. Although successful, the areawide mating disruption program has been an expensive approach by using hand-applied Isomate dispensers. Sprayable microencapsulated (MEC) pheromone formulations that can be applied with standard spray equipment could substantially reduce the cost of application. Field trials conducted during two consecutive seasons (2002–2004) demonstrated that monthly applications of MEC-OFM phase V (3M Canada, London, Ontario, Canada) at a rate of 125 ml/ha (37.1 g [AI]/ha) in replicated 2-ha blocks of both peaches and pears reduced oriental fruit moth shoot tip and fruit damage as effectively as a single application of Isomate OFM Rosso hand-applied dispensers (500 dispensers per ha) and as or more effectively than standard broad-spectrum insecticide sprays. Fruit protection was achieved despite high oriental fruit moth population densities in both crops as measured by moth catches in terpinyl acetate food and pheromone traps. Similar numbers of oriental fruit moths were captured among all treatments in food traps but captures of males in pheromone traps were disrupted (96–99%) in pheromone-treated blocks relative to controls. The results of this study suggest that microencapsulated formulations of pheromone could be effectively used in areawide mating disruption programs for oriental fruit moth in Australia as a cost-saving alternative to reservoir-style dispensers requiring labor-intensive hand application.
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Vol. 99 • No. 6