A new attractant for monitoring western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis in protected crops.

PMID 25763301


Monitoring of pest populations is an essential component of integrated pest management. An early warning system helps growers decide when best to take control measures, or when to alter them, should a control method prove inadequate. Studies have shown that adding chemical attractants to sticky cards can increase trap catch of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, a global pest of agriculture and horticulture, giving more accurate accounts of population size and dynamics, thus leading to more efficient monitoring. We identify a novel semiochemical to the species, (S)-(-)-verbenone, showing that addition of this compound to sticky traps significantly increased F. occidentalis catch in two geographically distinct populations, infesting two unrelated crops of global economic importance. We validate through field trials that (S)-(-)-verbenone is highly attractive to F.occidentalis and can be used with blue sticky traps to enhance trap catch, leading to better estimations of pest population densities. The compound may be used in other control methods against F.occidentalis such as lure and kill, mass trapping and push-pull.