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What is pheromone pest control?

Suterra Jun 2, 2021 10:50:19 AM

Pest management is often associated with insecticides and little else. However, a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management program tackles insects at all stages of development. Suterra’s CheckMate mating disruption products use affordable and ecologically-friendly methods to effectively stop new generations of pests from even being born.

     Mating disruption works by inhibiting communications between reproductively viable male and female pests. When many female insects are sexually mature, they produce a unique chemical signal called a pheromone that allows males to find them and mate with them, even from long distances away. Suterra’s products perfectly replicate this signal and come in several unique platforms, allowing growers to ambiently diffuse the pheromone throughout their orchards, vineyards or fields. When enough of this ambient pheromone is present in the air, male pests are essentially ‘blinded’ to the presence of females in the area and live out their short adult lives without having the opportunity to reproduce.

    Mating disruption can be extremely beneficial to growers who use it as part of an Integrated Pest Management program. For one, the chemical signal produced by each species of pest is unique, so mating disruption products are species-specific. As a result, beneficial insect species such as native pollinators, beneficial predators and parasitoids and augmentative biocontrol are not affected. In addition, mating disruption is nontoxic, completely safe and leaves no residue on crops. Using mating disruption to limit your number of insecticide sprays can also prevent the buildup of insecticide resistance, which is a major threat facing growers in several key pests.

    While mating disruption may feel like a new technology to some, growers have now been effectively using MDs on a variety of agricultural pests for several decades. Suterra offers mating disruption products for several key pests in California, including but not limited to Vine Mealybug, California Red Scale, and a variety of lepidopteran pests like Codling Moth, Navel Orangeworm, and others. Suterra is also constantly looking into new sciences to expand its range of pest products, offering products across a wide range of crops and locations around the world.

    As insecticide regulations tighten and pest infestations become increasingly difficult to keep under control, growers are increasingly looking to find effective, alternate solutions to safely and sustainably managing pests. Mating disruption is a science-backed, well-established technology that is rapidly becoming ubiquitous in many parts of the agricultural center. Don’t fall behind the curve; consider adding mating disruption to your arsenal against agricultural pests. If you have questions about mating disruption, monitoring or integrated pest management, contact your local field representative or email Suterra’s Customer Care team online using this link.