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Mating disruption is a targeted, non-toxic, safe and environmentally friendly solution that leaves zero residue on crops or plants. Technology has enabled the development of pesticide-free pheromone-based products that proactively disrupt mating behaviour and reduce insect pest populations by preventing reproduction.


Our mating disruption solution: X-Mate™

More detailed information on our pest-specific solutions can be found here:

Products available subject to registration in country of purchase.

For more information or to receive a quote please contact us 

Principles of mating disruption

Male moths find potential mates by following the trail of a scent (pheromone) emitted by the female of the same species. Mating disruption is used to prevent mating by saturating the atmosphere with pheromones released by dispensers. By releasing a large quantity of pheromone into the targeted area, male insects are confused and struggle to locate females, which emit pheromones at a lower concentration than the dispenser. Doing this for an extended period results in less mating and, in turn, fewer eggs and damage-causing larvae. Keeping the population under pressure over an extended period will eventually result in population control.

Advantages of mating disruption

  • Does not affect beneficial insects, safeguarding the presence of predators and parasitoids that limit the presence of certain pests. 
  • Non-toxic and safe to the people applying the product.
  • Does not leave marks or residues on the fruit.
  • Has a cumulative effect if used repeatedly over the course of several years.
  • The pest does not develop immunity or resistance to the product.
  • It is quick and easy to apply. Application is required only once a year at the start of the programme, and at a time when there is little work in the orchard to be done.
  • Is a more environmentally friendly means of protection against pests.

Installation of X-Mate™ dispensers

X-Mate uses passive dispensers, approved in South Africa. Application density will depend on the crop and insect being targeted.

The following guidelines should also be followed:

  • The placement of the dispensers must begin on the orchards with the greatest susceptibility and history of attacks and to ensure the number of dispensers used on those orchards are as previously calculated.
  • Dispensers should be applied in the top third of the canopy of the orchard by using the Insect Science (Pty) Ltd X-Mate™ applicator.
  • In the border zone, where strong prevailing winds or steep slopes are present be sure to start the application outside of the treatment block, the distance between dispensers must be in accordance with plant spacing.
  • If there is no tree where a dispenser should be placed, the dispenser should be placed on the tree situated just before or after the space. 
  • The size of the orchard (minimum 10ha), dispenser placement date/ time of year and population density of the pest should also be considered.

Effect of gradient on pheromone plume distribution and concentration

A molecule of the pheromone is heavier than a molecule of air, so gravity will naturally cause the pheromone to drift downwards. If your orchard is placed on a steep hill, the pheromone will move down the hill leaving the trees at the top exposed. For this reason, more dispensers should be placed at the top of steep inclines.

Testing effectiveness

Observe the pheromone base traps located in the orchard treated with mating disruption and compare the number of captures with those obtained in traps located outside the area treated with mating disruption.

Note, however, that the absence of captures in a trap is not a guarantee that a particular orchard has not been infested. If the pheromone is not uniformly distributed in the orchard and certain conditions are present, the risk of mating will increase. Thus, in addition to monitoring the pheromone traps, sampling should be conducted to assess the damage in each generation. The samples should be collected both in orchards treated with mating disruption and in control orchards.