Monitoring Planococcus ficus in South African vineyards with sex pheromone-baited traps
Walton, V.M. | Daane, K.M. | Pringle, K.L.
A pheromone-based monitoring system was tested for the vine mealybug, Planococcus ficus (Signoret), in South African vineyards. Rubber septa were loaded with a 100 g dose of racemic lavandulyl senecioate, the synthetic P. ficus sex pheromone, and placed in vineyards to monitor male mealybug flight activity and lure performance. Concurrently, vineyards were visually sampled to assess P. ficus density, as measured by percent stem infestation. P. ficus males captured in pheromone-baited traps were significantly and positively correlated to P. ficus densities, as determined by more labor-intensive visual sampling methods. The baited lures were attractive to male P. ficus for 10 weeks or more, with an effective range of at least 50 m. A simple model was developed to use pheromone-baited trap data to estimate P. ficus infestation levels. This model's use may be limited because of the lure's high level of attractiveness, which often resulted in positive trap catches in vineyards where no female P. ficus were located during the visual searches.Show more [+] Less [-]