Programs to eradicate the boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman, from cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., in the United States rely heavily on pheromone traps for monitoring weevil populations in both active and posteradication maintenance programs. Modifications to trapping protocols that increase trap effectiveness should contribute to this eradication effort. Between October 1996 and May 1997 and between September 1997 and April 1998, we compared trap effectiveness, indicated by the numbers of captured weevils, in relation to selected habitat types. Each study period was divided into fall, winter, and spring seasons. Traps were closely associated with seven habitat types, including four types with prominent erect vegetation (brush-lined irrigation canal, brush, sugarcane, and resaca or ox-bow lake) and three types with only low-growing or sparse erect vegetation (irrigation drainage canal, unimproved pasture, and fallow fields). Captures of male and female weevils were statistically similar regardless of season or trapping habitat. Although captures differed significantly among habitats, these differences varied among seasons. Trapping habitats with prominent vegetational features generally produced higher weekly captures of weevils than habitats lacking these features. Also, captures in traps associated with prominent vegetation indicated seasonal differences in weevil activity, with highest captures occurring during the fall. Traps associated with habitats lacking prominent vegetation did not statistically demonstrate seasonal differences. Our results indicate that immediate trap surroundings strongly influence the effectiveness of the boll weevil pheromone trap. These results also suggest that effectiveness of current trapping programs may be improved through purposeful association of traps with selected vegetational features.
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Vol. 99 • No. 3