Use of Pheromones for Pink Bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella, Saunders) Mating Disruption in Israel
Mar 8, 2019
Pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella) is one of the major cotton pests of Israel. Until ten years ago the pest appeared mainly in one region, the Beit-Shean valley, but it has spread all over Israel. The number of spray applications against this pest ranges between 1 and 9, mainly organo-phosphates and pyrethroids. Applications start early in the season, disrupting the delicate balance that exists between natural enemies and pests. The result is severe outbreaks of other pest. In the mid-1980s, the Sandoz pheromone product “No Mate” was used for mating disruption. P.B. Rope technology evolved in the Beit Shean valley during the 1990’s. The average number of insecticide sprays declined from 9 to 5. Insecticide applications only commenced in the middle of the season following delayed pink bollworm occurrence and the decline in population intensity. This affected other pest populations. Since 1991 the use of P.B. Ropes and P.B. Rings (AGRISENSE) has increased and during the 1998 season, approximately half the cotton fields are treated with P.B. Ropes. The recommendation in Israel is to administer pheromone Ropes and rings early in the season, prior to appearance of pin-head squares. The initial dosage used to be 500 units (50 mg) per hectare but has been reduced to 250 (40 mg) units per hectare. The application of the pheromones is manual and time consuming. Researchers in Israel are working on a mechanical application method. Pheromones are active for about 2-3 months. Termination of efficacy is difficult to determine. At present, despite difficulties, the American method of pink bollworm oviposition monitoring is under observation.