The vine mealybug (VMB), Planococcus ficus (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), is a key insect pest of vineyards. While pheromone-based mating disruption (MD) has been successfully tested against a wide range of insect pests, knowledge about its efficacy against key mealybug species, such as P. ficus, is scarce. In this study, a novel MD product, Isonet® PF, was evaluated by testing 300, 400, and 500 dispensers/ha at four study sites located in Northern (Veneto) and Southern (Sicily) Italy. Experiments were carried out over 2 years by monitoring the mealybug populations in wine grape and table grape vineyards managed with and without the application of MD. Pheromone dispensers were periodically collected during the grapevine-growing season, extracted, and analyzed by GC-MS, to determine their pheromone content and the release in mg/ha/day. The results showed that use of the MD dispenser Isonet® PF reduced the percentage of VMB-infested bunches and the number of VMB specimens per bunch compared with the untreated controls. This was recorded over 2 years at all experimental sites. Differences in the incidence of infested bunches among the three tested rates of Isonet® PF were not detected. Overall, the results presented here contribute to optimizing the sex pheromone dosage used in MD control programs against VMB allowing a reduction of broad-spectrum insecticides currently employed to manage this important pest.

Managing the vine mealybug, Planococcus ficus, through pheromone-mediated mating disruption

Suma, Pompeo;
2019

Abstract

The vine mealybug (VMB), Planococcus ficus (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), is a key insect pest of vineyards. While pheromone-based mating disruption (MD) has been successfully tested against a wide range of insect pests, knowledge about its efficacy against key mealybug species, such as P. ficus, is scarce. In this study, a novel MD product, Isonet® PF, was evaluated by testing 300, 400, and 500 dispensers/ha at four study sites located in Northern (Veneto) and Southern (Sicily) Italy. Experiments were carried out over 2 years by monitoring the mealybug populations in wine grape and table grape vineyards managed with and without the application of MD. Pheromone dispensers were periodically collected during the grapevine-growing season, extracted, and analyzed by GC-MS, to determine their pheromone content and the release in mg/ha/day. The results showed that use of the MD dispenser Isonet® PF reduced the percentage of VMB-infested bunches and the number of VMB specimens per bunch compared with the untreated controls. This was recorded over 2 years at all experimental sites. Differences in the incidence of infested bunches among the three tested rates of Isonet® PF were not detected. Overall, the results presented here contribute to optimizing the sex pheromone dosage used in MD control programs against VMB allowing a reduction of broad-spectrum insecticides currently employed to manage this important pest.
Biological control; Chemical ecology; Integrated pest management; Sex pheromones; Sustainable pest control; Environmental Chemistry; Pollution; Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/362376
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