Development of Trapping Methods with a Synthetic Sex Pheromone of the Pink Hibiscus Mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus, (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae)

Antonio Francis, Kenneth A. Bloem, Amy L. Roda, Stephen L. Lapointe, Aijun Zhang, Oghenekome Onokpise

Abstract


The pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green), threatens numerous crops of economic importance and could spread from populations in California and Florida to 33 other states. Field experiments conducted in Florida evaluated 3 commercially available trap designs baited with synthetic female sex pheromone for efficiency in trapping adult male M. hirsutus as well as ease in processing. Delta traps and double-sided sticky cards captured more males than Jackson traps. The Delta and Jackson traps were more effective at minimizing the capture of non-target insects. The effect of lure age on males captured was also evaluated by pre-aging lures outdoors for 0 to 8 months before testing. Fewer males were caught in Delta traps as the age of the lure increased, with significantly fewer caught in traps that had been pre-aged for 2 months. Monitoring of male flight activity throughout diel cycle with baited Delta traps indicated that males were most active around dusk. The field experiments also showed that the pheromone traps often capture males in areas where no visual indication of an infestation is evident. The pheromone trap may serve as a valuable tool to detect new infestations of pink hibiscus mealybug.

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