Sex pheromones are powerful chemical attractants emitted by female insects to attract males for mating. Pheromones of many species have been identified and are synthetically produced for use in insect pest management programs. Some pheromones attract only one type of insect, while others attract several related species.
Proceedings: Animal Sciences. Under forestry conditions, management techniques aimed at maintenance of pest populations at moderate levels have greater chance of success than conventional methods of pest control. Simple behavioural observations can sometimes be used to great advantage in the development of such methods, some examples of which are given.
The use of pheromones has been instrumental in increasing the effectiveness of both monitoring insect populations and in providing adequate information to enable implementation of cost effective control. Since the discovery of pheromones, a term first used by Karlson and Luschera multiplicity of uses has been found for them involving monitoring and control although no significant applied use was achieved for monitoring until the mid 's. As with any management program, it is important that knowledge of those factors hoping to be controlled is known.
This chapter gives an account on the general concept of insect semiochemicals, their definitions, classification, formulation, utilization in integrated pest management programs, and the shortcomings of their application. The different semiochemically based insect management techniques, such as mass trapping, mating disruption, and attract-and-kill, are highlighted. The chapter also summarizes a case study from 7-year research on semiochemicals of the invasive red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus.
Ninety per cent of chemical insecticides have been eliminated from commercial orchards in Australia thanks to the use of chemical sex attractants. The CSIRO Division of Entomology has been involved in developing technology that uses pheremones to interrupt the mating process of pests for a number of decades and are currently trialing a newly discovered pheremone to protect persimmon fruit. Insects such as the oriental fruit moth are guided to their mates by the pheromones, released by the opposite sex.
Definition of pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals produced as messengers that affect the behavior of other individuals of insects or other animals. They are usually wind borne but may be placed on soil, vegetation or various items.
Insects of different orders responds to some pheromones with aggregation behavior. Male-produced sex attractant have been referred to as aggregation pheromones, because they typically result in the arrival of both sexes at a calling site leading to an increase in density of conspecifics in the vicinity of the pheromone source. Aggregation pheromones have been reported for members of the Coleoptera, Dictyoptera, Hemiptera, Homoptera and Orthoptera and have been identified for hundreds of species.
Human behaviors are probably influenced by invisible smell signals, just like all other animals. DOI: Powerful messages can be delivered by smell, a fact known long before the means by which they did so was discovered. The ancient Greeks knew that secretions from a female dog in heat were attractive to male dogs.
Insects Limited manufactures and sells pheromone lures and traps for insect pests of dried food, textiles, grain, carpets, taxidermy and tobacco. In the late s, scientists clipped thousands of genitalia from the silkworm moth, Bombyx mori, in order to extract its pheromone. Since this time more than 1, pheromones have been identified by scientists worldwide.
It is probably safe to say that insects rely more heavily on chemical signals than on any other form of communication. These signals, often called semiochemicals or infochemicalsserve as a form of "language" that helps to mediate interactions between organisms. Insects may be highly sensitive to low concentrations of these chemicals -- in some cases, a few molecules may be enough to elicit a response. Semiochemicals can be divided into two groups based on who "sends" a message and who "receives" it:.