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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2008

Codling moth management and chemical ecology

Witzgall, Peter; Stelinski, Lukasz; Gut, Larry; Thomson, Don


Lepidopteran insects use sex pheromones to communicate for mating. Olfactory communication and mate-finding can be prevented by permeating the atmosphere with synthetic pheromone. Pheromone-mediated mating disruption has become a commercially viable pest management technique and is used to control the codling moth, Cydia pomonella, a key insect pest of apple, on 160,000 ha worldwide. The codling moth sex pheromone, codlemone, is species specific and nontoxic. Orchard treatments with up to 100 grams of synthetic codlemone per hectare effectively control codling moth populations over the entire growing season. Practical implementation of the mating disruption technique has been realized at an opportune time, as codling moth has become resistant to many insecticides. We review codling moth chemical ecology and factors underlying the behavioral mechanisms and practical implementation of mating disruption. Area-wide programs are the result of collaborative efforts between academic research institutions, extension, chemical industries, and grower organizations, and they demonstrate the environmental and economic relevance of pheromone research.


pheromone; kairomone; sexual communication; integrated pest management

Published in

Annual Review of Entomology
2008, Volume: 53, pages: 503-522
ISBN: 978-0-8243-0153-8

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    UKÄ Subject classification

    Food Science
    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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