Save Palm Trees from Weevil Devils
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Pheromone Trapping

April 29th, 2008 Posted in Management methods

 

Attract and Kill

Pheromone trapTaking advantage of the adult weevils attraction to the fermenting liquids especially sap from the palm, a poisonous broth was used to bait and kill the weevils the past.  This techniques was continuously refined and sugarcane baited traps were successfully used for collection of weevils for a long time.

A decade ago the research on the semiochemicals led to the identification of male aggregation pheromones in the palms.  The economically important R. ferrugineus pheromone was discovered and successfully used in Middle East in early nineties.  Further refinement of the trapping system has added great value to the existing methods of control.  By judicious use of pheromone traps, red palm weevil population can be reduced drastically over a period of time.  However, the apprehensions of some farmers that placement of traps in palm gardens may lead to more infestations cannot be dismissed lightly.  When traps are placed in a garden they should be properly serviced as per the protocols.  Otherwise the entire pest control program becomes counterproductive.  So users of control systems should keep in mind the finer points while dealing with pheromone baited traps.


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  1. 115 Responses to “Pheromone Trapping”

  2. By Walter Truscott on May 19, 2008

    Here on the southern coast of Spain, treatment is fairly traditional, using chemical sprays to the crown and trunk of Phoenix canariensis and Phoenix dactylifera. This follows recomendations of the regional department of Agriculture; however there has been much discussion of pheremone traps without any firm advice or specification for their use. I would welcome further details of such treatment techniques and their effectiveness.

  3. By admin on May 20, 2008

    The use of pheromone traps as one of the control measures of Red Palm Weevil species in various countries has been well demonstrated. In general 5-7 liter buckets are used as trap with four windows cut on four sides below the rim. The R. ferrugineus pheromone lure (4-methyl-5-nonanol and its variants) is commercially available from many private companies and one can use the best one. In our experience Ferrolure+ manufactured by Chem Tica of Costa Rica was found to be good for handling and effectiveness as well. The bucket has to be provided with about 500g to 1Kg of food viz., cut sugarcane bits, or palm stem pieces collected from dead trees or apples. To this food add 1-2 liters of pesticide solution (carbaryl 0.3%). The pheromone lure may be tied from the bottom of the bucket lid and close the bucket. Then (if possible) one may wrap gunny (jute) cloth over the bucket to give roughage or even one can also use matt-like sheets found between leaf bases, which are removed while cleaning palm crowns. The trap is ready for use. Now the most important question is where to hang it. The best place is naturally the palm trunk but it should be a older palm wit clean and dry trunk. So tie the bucket to the trunk at a heigt of 1m or 1.3m from ground. If you can manage to keep it on the ground it is fine, but see that the trap is not over looked or thrown out by someone. After installing the pheromone tap one has to visit the once every week and remove the dead weevil captured in the trap. Depending upon the evaporation ad deterioration of the food inside the materials have to be replaced once in a week or once in two weeks. We have examined the trap design, trap height, trap food, trap pesticide and now the question is how many traps per one acre. This question is difficult to answer as it is variable and depends on several factors. Generally the recommendation comes after a field trial. If any local expertise is available one may consult. Otherwise one trap per one ha/acre should be sufficient. Depending upon the local experiences one can further refine the trap. If any more clarifications are needed please write to me.

  4. By Walter Truscott on May 22, 2008

    Thank you for this information. A few further questions: Do you know of European manufacturers of Ferrolure+ or similar? Do the traps need to be used throughout the year? Is the pheromone trap method effective as a treatment on its own, or is traditional spraying/injection necessary as well?

  5. By Dr Vidyasagar on May 23, 2008

    1. In Europe you can obtain the lures of R. ferrugineus from Agrisense-BCS ltd., Uk. Generally they supply the pheromone lures of most species. Ask them to give sachet kind rather than vials.
    2. The traps need to be used throughout the year. The number of traps may be reduced once the population comes down in two years or so. Again it depends on the of similar methods by neighbors.
    3. Regularly plant protection methods have to be applied. Surveillance for any new infestations, treatment of fresh infestation or reinfestation, preventive methods of soaking palm crowns, removal and burning of badly damaged palms should continue even if pheromone traps are kept in the garden. It is the integration of various methods to get the best results.

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