Operational parameters of traps baited with the pheromones of three mealybug species were optimized in nurseries producing ornamental plants. All pheromone doses (1-320 µg) attracted Pseudococcus longispinus (Targioni Tozzetti) and Pseudococcus viburni (Signoret) males, with the lowest dose (1 µg) attracting the fewest males for both species. Doses of 3.2–100 µg were as attractive to male P. longispinus as the highest dose (320 µg); doses from 10 to 320 µg were equally attractive for P. viburni males. Lures containing 25-µg doses of either pheromone had effective field lifetimes of at least 12 wk. Experiments were performed to test the efficacy of combining multiple pheromones to attract several species of mealybugs simultaneously. Lures loaded with a mixture of the pheromones of P. longispinus, P. viburni, and Planococcus citri (Risso) were as attractive to P. viburni and P. citri as lures with their individual pheromones. Response of P. longispinus to the blend was decreased by 38% compared with its pheromone as a single component. A subsequent trial with two-component blends showed that the pheromone of P. citri was responsible for this modest decrease in P. longispinus response. This should not affect the overall efficacy of using these lures for monitoring the presence of all three mealybug species simultaneously. Pheromone traps were used to detect infestations of P. longispinus throughout the season and to track population cycles. When pheromone-baited traps for P. longispinus were compared with manual sampling, trap counts of male mealybugs were significantly correlated with mealybugs counted on plants in the vicinity of the traps.
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Vol. 104 • No. 2