The recent availability of sex pheromone lures for the navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), improves options for monitoring this key pest in conventionally managed almonds. These lures are, however, minimally effective in the presence of mating disruption. Experiments were conducted to determine if phenyl propionate (PPO), an attractant for the navel orangeworm, acts in an additive or synergistic manner when presented together with the pheromone. In the absence of mating disruption, traps baited with PPO captured significantly fewer adults than traps baited with a sex pheromone lure. There was no difference in the number of adults captured in traps with both attractants when mating disruption was not used. In the presence of mating disruption, pheromone traps were completely suppressed, yet traps with both pheromone and PPO captured significantly more adults than traps baited with only PPO. Traps with only PPO captured equal numbers of both sexes, whereas traps with both attractants had significantly more males. These findings demonstrate that PPO is likely to be useful for monitoring navel orangeworm in fields treated with mating disruption.
Technical Abstract: Aerosol mating disruption is used for management of navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), in an increasing portion of California almonds and pistachios. This formulation suppresses pheromone monitoring traps far beyond the treatment block, potentially complicating monitoring and management of this key pest in such blocks. Phenyl propionate is an attractant that captures adults in the presence of mating disruption which completely suppresses pheromone traps, and lures combining phenyl propionate with a pheromone lure (PPO-combo lure) synergize trap capture in the presence of mating disruption. In this study, laboratory and field studies of different phenyl propionate dispensers indicate a useful life of six weeks for the phenyl propionate lures. Controlled experiments found similar levels of capture in phenyl propionate and PPO-combo lures in the presence of varying levels of mating disruption intensity. A subsequent trial compared monitoring of field plots at various distances from fields under commercial mating disruption for much of the season with pheromone and PPO-combo lures. While there was some evidence of partial suppression of capture in PPO-combo traps closer to mating disruption compared to lures farther away, there was not a failure of detection as occurred with pheromone lures. The ratio of adults in pheromone and PPO-combo trap varied with proximity from treated fields. These results indicate that, in addition to monitoring in mating disruption plots, phenyl propionate lures can be useful for insuring against failure of detection of navel orangeworm pressure in areas where mating disruption is widely used.