Development of a ‘lure and kill’ technique for apple leafcurling midge, <i>Dasineura mali</i>
Apple leafcurling midge (ALCM) is an important quarantine pest of New Zealand apples. Current methods for ALCM control have difficulty meeting the strict phytosanitary standards of some export markets. ‘Lure and kill’ is a new strategy against this pest, in which males are attracted to an insecticide-treated substrate where they collect a lethal dose. Trials were conducted using a gel matrix “Specialized Pheromone & Lure Application Technology” (SPLAT™) to dispense and release the ALCM sex pheromone and the insecticide permethrin. Lures using SPLAT™ were placed within plastic cylinder traps that collected the dead midges so they could be counted to determine treatment efficacy. The size, shape and age of SPLAT™ spots influenced midge catches. Higher catches occurred with spots having a larger quantity of pheromone, greater surface area of SPLAT™, or with fresh material. The implications for the development of a lure and kill strategy for ALCM are discussed.