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Development of pull and push–pull systems for management of lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus, in poultry houses using alarm and aggregation pheromones

Hassemer, Marla J, Borges, Miguel, Withall, David M, Pickett, John A, Laumann, Raul A, Birkett, Michael A, Blassioli‐Moraes, Maria C
Pest management science 2019 v.75 no.4 pp. 1107-1114
Alphitobius diaperinus, adults, aggregation pheromones, alarm pheromones, bacteria, bait traps, benzoquinones, disease susceptibility, fungi, insect pests, insecticides, pesticide application, pheromone traps, poultry housing, poultry production, viruses, Brazil
BACKGROUND: The lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), is the most important insect pest affecting poultry production around the world, with all life stages being susceptible to infection by bacteria, viruses and fungi. Control of A. diaperinus in poultry houses using intensive insecticide application is not effective due to the cryptic behaviour of this pest. Here, we evaluated the potential of recently identified A. diaperinus alarm (1,4‐benzoquinone, 2‐methyl‐1,4‐benzoquinone and 2‐ethyl‐1,4‐benzoquinone) and aggregation [(R)‐limonene, 2‐nonanone, (E)‐ocimene, (S)‐linalool, (R)‐daucene and (E,E)‐α‐farnesene] pheromones as tools for the management of this pest in poultry houses in Brazil. RESULTS: Laboratory arena assays with synthetic alarm pheromone confirmed A. diaperinus repellency. In an initial field assay, traps baited with synthetic aggregation pheromone captured significantly more insects than control traps. In further field assays that compared a pull (aggregation pheromone) and a push–pull (simultaneous alarm/aggregation pheromone deployment) system, a higher number of A. diaperinus were captured in aggregation pheromone‐baited traps in the push–pull system. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that alarm and aggregation pheromones can be deployed in poultry houses to trap significant numbers of adult A. diaperinus. Studies are underway to determine the potential for using these components as part of an integrated A. diaperinus management strategy. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry