Laboratory evaluation and comparison of release rates of mating pheromones for oriental fruit moth (Grapholita molesta), pink boll worm (Pectinophora gossypeila) and gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar)

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lisa Marie McCracken (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Cynthia Atterholt

Abstract: There has been an increasing interest in more environmentally friendly alternatives to the use of pesticides in agriculture, due to health and environmental concerns. The controlled release of pheromones can be used as part of an Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) to minimize the quantity of pesticides used, and there have been a number of methods developed to release sex pheromones for mating disruption of insect pests. One of these methods uses wax emulsions as carriers for pheromones that are sprayed on forests and agricultural crops to manage insect pest populations. This research examined the effects of emulsion formulation variables on pheromone release rates for Oriental fruit moth, (Grapholita molesta), gypsy moth, (Lymantria dispar), and pink bollworm, (Pectinophora gossypeila). The effects of the wax type, the emulsifier concentration, the addition of a thickener, the pheromone volatility, and the emulsion consistency were examined in this research. Additionally, a commercial gypsy moth product, Hercon® Disrupt® II, was evaluated and compared to wax emulsions made in this research. All emulsion samples were subjected to the same flow cell conditions: 5 g of emulsion (containing 190 mg of pheromone) was tested at 30°C, with an air flow of 0.5 L/min. The released pheromone was trapped and quantified by gas chromatography. The results indicated that emulsions made from paraffin wax released pheromone at a higher rate than emulsions made from microcrystalline wax. Increasing the amount of emulsifier from 2% to 4% had no significant effect on release rates. Similarly, the amount of thickener had no significant effect on release rates. Interestingly, the emulsion consistency had a direct correlation to pheromone release rate; a poorly emulsified emulsion resulted in higher releases rates than the well emulsified emulsion. Finally, the Hercon® Disrupt® II flake dispensers had similar release rates to paraffin wax emulsions. Pheromone volatility also played a vital role in emulsion formulations and release rates. Overall, the Oriental fruit moth emulsion had the highest release rate, with an average release of 0.9 mg/day for each of the emulsion formulations. The pink bollworm had the second highest average release of 0.08 mg/day, while gypsy moth had the lowest average release of 0.02 mg/day. In summary, wax emulsions were used to provide a sustained release of insect pheromones. The release rate was modified by the type of wax used in the formulation. Other formulation variables tested, such as the amount of emulsifier and the use of a thickener, did not significantly affect the pheromone release rates.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2006
Gypsy Moth, Mating Disruption, Oriental Fruit Moth, Pheromone, Pink Bollworm, Wax Emulsion
Gypsy moth -- Control
Pink bollworm -- Control
Oriental fruit moth -- Control
Insect sex attractants

Email this document to