Potential of a synthetic aggregation pheromone for integrated pest management of Colorado potato beetle
• The relative number of colonizing adult Colorado potato beetles (CPB) Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) coming to pitfall traps baited with the aggregation pheromone (S)-3,7-dimethyl-2-oxo-oct-6-ene-1,3-diol [(S)-CPB I] and the use of the pheromone in a trap crop pest management strategy were evaluated in the field for the first time.
• More than five-fold more adult L. decemlineata were caught in pitfall traps baited with the pheromone compared with controls. However, attraction to the pheromone diminished after 5 days in the field.
• In the trap crop management strategy, more colonizing adults were present in pheromone-treated rows of potatoes compared with untreated middle rows.
• Significantly fewer L. decemlineata egg masses and larvae were found in potato plots that were bordered by pheromone-treated rows, or bordered by imidacloprid + pheromone-treated rows, or rows treated at-planting with imidacloprid compared with untreated (control) potato plots.
• Densities of L. decemlineata egg masses and larvae and percentage defoliation were significantly lower, and marketable tuber yield significantly higher, in conventional imidacloprid-treated potatoes compared with all other treatments.
• Although our results demonstrate the potential for use of the aggregation pheromone in the management of L. decemlineata in the field, more research is needed to optimize the release rates of the attractant and incorporate control methods for cohabiting pests.