Plum curculio, Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst), has become an important pest of highbush blueberries in the northeastern United States. Here, we conducted experiments in 2010–2013 to compare the efficacy of semiochemical-baited traps for C. nenuphar versus conventional (beating cloth) sampling methods in blueberries, and to understand the seasonal abundance and distribution of C. nenuphar adults within and among blueberry fields using these traps. Black pyramid traps baited with the C. nenuphar aggregation pheromone grandisoic acid and the fruit volatile benzaldehyde caught three to four times more adults than unbaited traps without causing an increase in injury to berries in neighboring bushes. Numbers of adult weevils caught in traps correlated with those on bushes (beating cloth samples), indicating that trap counts can predict C. nenuphar abundance in the field. Early in the season, traps placed 20 m from field edges near a forest caught higher C. nenuphar numbers than traps placed at farther distances, suggesting movement of overwintered weevils from outside fields. Using a trapping network across multiple fields in an organic farm, we found evidence of C. nenuphar aggregation in “hotspots”; early in the season, C. nenuphar numbers in traps were higher in the middle of fields, and there was a correlation between these numbers and distance from the forest in 2013 but not in 2012. These results show that semiochemical-baited traps are effective in capturing C. nenuphar adults in blueberries, and that these traps should be placed in the interior of fields preferably, but not exclusively, near wooded habitats to maximize their efficacy.
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Vol. 46 • No. 3