The attraction of the stink bug Euschistus conspersus Uhler to sources of the synthetic pheromone component methyl (2E,4Z)-decadienoate was investigated in a series of field experiments in native vegetation surrounding commercial apple orchards in Washington. In experiments with pheromone lures placed inside two different tube-type traps, stink bugs were attracted to the immediate area around traps in large numbers, but very few were caught in the traps. Pheromone lures attached directly to the host plant mullein, Verbascum thapsus L., demonstrated that these “baited” plants attracted significantly more E. conspersus than unbaited plants. Spring (reproductive) and summer (reproductively diapausing) E. conspersus adults, both males and females, were attracted to pheromone-baited plants. There was no significant difference in the number of male or female E. conspersus attracted to pheromone-baited traps or plants in any of the experiments, further characterizing methyl (2E,4Z)-decadienoate as an aggregation, and not a sex pheromone. Stink bug aggregations formed within 24–48 h of lure placement on mullein plants and remained constant until the lure was removed after which aggregations declined over 3–4 d to the level of unbaited plants. The implications of these studies for E. conspersus monitoring and management are discussed.
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Vol. 94 • No. 6