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Effectiveness of gypsy moth mating disruption from aerial applications of plastic laminate flakes with and without a sticking agent

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1 The plastic laminate flake formulation, Disparlure II, is currently the only gypsy moth mating disruption product available for aerial application. The elimination of a sticking agent from the formulation would reduce costs, simplify application, and make it possible to apply the product without specialized equipment.

2 A test was conducted in wooded plots in Virginia during 1997 and 1998 to determine whether a sticking agent is necessary. Treatment effectiveness was assessed from the rates of male moth capture in pheromone-baited traps and mating success of both laboratory-reared and wild females.

3 Male moth capture was reduced 75.6 and 92.9% in plots treated with flakes without and with a sticking agent, respectively. The percentage of mated females that produced egg masses with more than 5% fertile eggs was reduced by 86.3 and 99.5% in plots treated with flakes without and with a sticking agent, respectively.

4 Moth capture and mating success of laboratory-reared females did not differ significantly between plots treated with flakes with and without a sticking agent. However, the consistently greater reduction in mating success in both years provides strong evidence that mating disruption is less effective when flakes are applied without a sticking agent. The proportion of wild egg masses collected in 1998 with more than 5% fertile eggs was significantly higher under the no-sticking agent treatment.

5 In special situations where the use of a sticking agent may be problematic, such as in residential areas, the data indicate that a high level of mating disruption is likely to occur even without the use of a sticking agent.

Keywords: Aerial application; Lymantria dispar; disparlure; forest pest; gypsy moth; laminate flakes; mating disruption; pheromone

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD 20705, U.S.A., 2: USDA, Forest Service, Asheville, NC 28802, U.S.A., 3: USDA, Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, Otis ANGB, MA 02542, U.S.A., 4: USDA, Forest Service, Morgantown, WV 26505, U.S.A., 5: USDA, Forest Service, Harrisonburg, VA 22801, U.S.A., 6: Canaan Valley Institute, Davis, WV 26260, U.S.A.

Publication date: August 1, 2000

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