Use of Insect Attractants in Protection of Ornamental Plants
Pheromones and attractants have been used in a variety of strategies for managing insect pests affecting ornamental plants. In general, these have included detection of exotic species, monitoring endemic species to improve control, and use as direct control agents. Several different approaches have been attempted using insect attractants as direct controls for pests. Some of the oldest uses have involved efforts to trap-out pests using lures and thus reduce the subsequent populations. Use of insect sex pheromones in trap-out strategies have been even less successful. This is primarily related to the occurrence of highly attractive pheromones which are only active on males. A substantially more promising use of sex pheromones for insect control is their use as mating disruptants. The first successful uses of mating disruption involved pests of agricultural crops, often with a limited host range. Mating disruptant treatments should be much less sensitive to environmental factors during application, such as excessive wind speed or rainfall.