The larvae of the European corn borer grow on both plants and fruits. In the first case, they lead to a quick decline of plants while, on the fruits, they compromise commercial value and can lead to rotting. Anyway, it is a dangerous enemy producers need to pay particular attention to.
In case of integrated control, direct defence can be carried out via pesticide treatments using the products listed in Production specifications. 1 or 2 treatment must be performed according to the infestation level and flight duration. In case of attacks underway, good results can be obtained with new generation microbiological formulas containing Bacillus thuringiensis spp kurstaki. Weekly treatments must focus on newborn larvae or, even better, on the eggs.
Pheromones of the species that needs to be controlled are released in the environment so as to compromise communication and impede or delay mating. This results in fewer eggs and therefore fewer larvae.
This method does not represent an alternative to traditional defence strategies, but can be the basis to set up integrated control plants according to the needs of single businesses.
In case of low borer populations, it can guarantee good control levels without the need for other interventions.
Mating disruption is generated using a diffuser that releases the pheromone, chemically similar to the natural version. The product is made up of two parallel microcapillaries in plastic polymer filled with the specific pheromone and sealed. The central opening makes it possible to apply it to various supports rather easily.
A single application covers the entire flight activity for pepper crops. The double-tube design enables excellent release levels and quick and easy applications. Diffusers must be uniformly distributed inside the greenhouse respecting recommended dosage.
The capillary structure means the diffuser remains impregnated with active substances even when its content is reduced during the season. The total surface does not vary during the exposure period and permeation remains constant as well.
Diffusers must be installed on frames or supporting wires before the wintering generation starts flying, calculating the exact period according to the data collected by monitoring traps or to phytosanitary practices. Distribution must be as uniform as possible, with a stronger dosage at the edge of the greenhouse and near entrances. Anti-insect nets are important as they prevent inseminated females from entering the greenhouse.
Plants and fruits must be constantly monitored to intervene promptly with supporting treatments in case of critical conditions or abnormal levels. The dosage is 600-800 diffusers/ha (60-80 diffusers/1000 sw m) during the period the pheromone is released (120-140 days).
Mating disruption must be combined with other prevention techniques such as:
Using mating disruption has many advantages: it's effective, compatible with bumblebees and organic cultivation techniques, it has no maximum residue limit, shortage period or re-entry interval and it can be combined with both organic and chemical control techniques.