Practical Winery
65 Mitchell Blvd, San Rafael, CA 94903
phone: 415-453-9700 ext 102
email: Office@practicalwinery.com
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MAY/JUNE 2009
GRAPE GROWING
Triangular-shaped delta traps catch VMB with minimal risk to parasitoids. Photo © Rebeccah Waterworth.
Control of mealybugs with pheromones
In addition to their use for detection and monitoring of insect populations, pheromones
also have potential use in insect control, for example bymating disruption or attract-and-kill technologies.
Mating disruption trials conducted by Daane, Bentley, Cooper, and Millar have shown promising results for vine mealybug.
In 2008, the first commercial use of the CheckMate pheromone dispenser for vine mealybug mating disruption occurred using one formulation produced by Suterra LLC (Bend, OR), under a FIFRA (Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act), Section 18 exemption. Kent Daane applied for the exemption, which authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow an unregistered use of a pesticide or other agrochemical for one year if the EPA determines that an emergency condition exists with approval from the California Department of Pesticide Regulations.
The section 18 exemption for the vine mealybug pheromone has been approved for 2009 in Contra Costa, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Lake, Madera, Marin, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and Tulare counties.
An interesting aspect of this program is that a parasitoid of the vine mealybug (Anagyrus pseudococci) may be attracted to the mealybug pheromone as a host-finding cue, resulting in greater levels of biological control. The group has shown that there isminimal risk of parasitoids being caught if lures are deployed in triangular tentshaped delta traps.