The Science of Entomology 

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Insects can communicate with one another by releasing, into the air, small quantities of a chemical substance, a “scent”, known as a pheromone. They attract their own species to this scent. Since the chemical composition of the pheromone differs from species to species, each is only attracted to its own. As a result of many years of research, we are now able to chemically identify many of the individual pheromones and synthesize them. This has made it possible to attract a specific insect and neutralise or disrupt its normal behaviour. The key component of Integrated Pest Management (I.P.M.) is to have a greater knowledge of insects’ behaviour. By being aware of when and where insects are present and the stage of their life cycle, timely decisions can be made for their control.


Practical applications of pheromones in pest management can be used in the following ways:
• Trapping for detection by monitoring and surveying.
• Monitoring control efficacy and insecticide resistance, using pheromones as attractants.
• Luring insects to areas treated with insecticide or poison stations.
• Luring insects to areas treated with pathogens, which are then spread by the infected individuals to the rest of the population.
• Mass trapping for population suppression.
• Disrupting communication within the insect population by saturating the area with pheromones. Sex pheromones disrupt mating, resulting in population decline.
• Using Last Call™, a UV resistant grease like matrix containing the specific insect’s pheromone together with an insecticide; males are attracted to the droplet, try to mate with it and are killed on contact.
• Attract & sterilize.

Why we monitor pests

The monitoring of pests and diseases has become a science. Most monitoring systems are sophisticated scientific tools developed by experts for growers. An incorrectly installed or maintained monitoring system, or where the wrong insects are counted, will not be a true reflection of the pest situation in the field. In many of these systems, the decision on whether to spray or not rests on very small differences in the number of insects trapped or counted weekly. A monitoring system that operates sub-optimally will lead to incorrect control decisions.
• Monitoring indicates the level of pests, diseases and biological control agents in the field, keeping growers up-to-date with their status.
• Knowledge of the status of any pest, disease and biological control agent enables growers to make intelligent and rational decisions on the necessary control actions, based on the actual numbers.
• By spraying according to Economic Threshold Values rather than by the calendar, growers can reduce the number of sprays and therefore their spraying costs. There is a constant and increasing need to minimize the use of pesticides, due to the adverse effect on both humans and the environment.

Use of pheromone lures

Pheromone lures are for use only in trapping systems that detect a specific insect population in orchards or fields.
Place the PheroLure® inside the trap on the Sticky Liner or slide it over the wire of the Scale Card.

Storage and Packaging

The pheromone lures are packaged in a foil pouch. This protects them against sunlight and contamination.
The lures are individually wrapped in a foil pouch or in bulk of a 100 lures.
The lures should be stored at a temperature below 10° C.
Lures kept under these conditions will retain their activity and attractiveness for a minimum of 12 months.
Bulk storage of lures for periods of 24 months or longer is possible by refrigeration at temperatures around 4° C.

Insect Science® does not recommend storing lures for more than 3 years. The pheroLure® pouches have a declared period of four weeks of activity after opening. After this time, the expired pheroLure® should be replaced.

How pheromones are identified

How male moths find female moths

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The Science of Entomology 

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