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Pest Control with Phermones

Aug 28, 2008
The pheromones are used by different organisms for different reasons. For alerting the group from threat, for sexual attraction etc. but there are other uses of pheromones which are discovered by our scientists. These pheromones can be effectively used for the control of pests in the fields.

In 1995, in United Stated, a group of insects known as Beet army-worms caused a multi million dollars loss in Texas alone by seriously affecting the cotton growing area. But in 1997, researchers could avoid it by disrupting mating procedure between male and female Beet army-worms by flooding 35-acre cotton field with sex attractant pheromones.

With such a pervasion of female scent, the males could not find the females for more than hundred days, and gradually the pest rate reduced. In such a way, certain pheromone traps have also been engineered and are commonly used by farmers and also the home owners. For example Indian Meal Moths (pantry Moths) are attracted to a pheromone in a small box which is actually a sticky substance, and are thus captured for disposal.

By the usage of these pheromones for controlling the pest, we are not only protecting the plant from the pest attack but also the environment by hazardous effects of the chemical pesticides for these pheromones are naturally occurring and eco-friendly.

In fact, few spiders in the United States and also African forests have also said to produce have also said to use pheromones in their trap to catch their pray. The Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad, India, has done and still doing lot of research in the field of pheromonal control pests and the scientists here has also developed Pheromone Banks.

To develop a Pheromonal pest controlling chemical, it is first necessary to know the pheromonal systems of the different pests which have attacked the different crops.

The scientists from IICT have also discovered Pheromone Systems in many pests like Amsacta albistriga-Red hairy caterpillar (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) which attacks the crop Polyphaguous, Hyblaea puera Teak defoliator (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) which attacks Teak, Orthaja exvinacea Mango leaf Webber (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) which attacks almost all varieties of Mango, Nephatis serinopa Black headed caterpillar (Lepidoptera: Xylorectiidae) which attacks coconut, Atherigona soccata Sorghum shoot fly (Diptera: Anthomyiidae) which attacks Sorghum.

Several synthetic pheromones have been developed in order to control the pests. If the synthetic pheromone is extensively seducing and the population of the attacking pest is low, some control can be achieved with pheromone traps or this technique can also be called as attract and kill. The mechanism is very simple.

Generally, mating disruptions have been successful in controlling of pests. Synthetic pheromones are released from numerous sources placed in different parts of the field. Because of this, the males are unable to find the respective females for mating and hence the offspring rate is considerably reduced. This technique has been successful in pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella, and Grapholita molesta.

But the most common use of pheromones is still under prognosis. By using a few traps, a farmer can check the population of the pests and can decide when it is time to spray. If the levels never reach a critical level, no spraying is required.
About the Author
Phermones Guide is a beginners guide for information and resources about phermones. Please visit our website at http://phermonesguide.blogspot.com/
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