The majority of wood-boring ambrosia beetles are strongly attracted to ethanol, a behavior which could be exploited for management within ornamental nurseries. A series of experiments was conducted to determine if ethanol-based interception techniques could reduce ambrosia beetle pest pressure. In two experiments, trap trees injected with a high dose of ethanol were positioned either adjacent or 10–15 m from trees injected with a low dose of ethanol (simulating a mildly stressed tree) to determine if the high-dose trap trees could draw beetle attacks away from immediately adjacent stressed nursery trees. The high-ethanol-dose trees sustained considerably higher attacks than the low-dose trees; however, distance between the low- and high-dose trees did not significantly alter attack rates on the low-dose trees. In a third experiment, 60-m length trap lines with varying densities of ethanol-baited traps were deployed along a forest edge to determine if immigrating beetles could be intercepted before reaching sentinel traps or artificially stressed sentinel trees located 10 m further in-field. Intercept trap densities of 2 or 4 traps per trap line were associated with fewer attacks on sentinel trees compared to no traps, but 7 or 13 traps had no impact. None of the tested intercept trap densities resulted in significantly fewer beetles reaching the sentinel traps. The evaluated ethanol-based interception techniques showed limited promise for reducing ambrosia beetle pressure on nursery trees. An interception effect might be enhanced by applying a repellent compound to nursery trees in a push–pull strategy.
Karla M Addesso, Jason B Oliver, Nadeer Youssef, Paul A O’Neal, Christopher M Ranger, Michael Reding, Peter B Schultz, Christopher T Werle, Trap Tree and Interception Trap Techniques for Management of Ambrosia Beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) in Nursery Production, Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 112, Issue 2, April 2019, Pages 753–762, https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toy413