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Control of the California red scale through mating disruption

Vicente Navarro Llopis, Sandra Vacas González and Jaime Primer Millo

Center for Agricultural Chemical Ecology – Mediterranean Agroforestry Institute. Polytechnic University of Valencia.

The California red scale is one of the most important pests that affects citrus crops around the world and in the past 20 years in Spain as well. Until now, control of these pests has been based on the use of organophosphates, growth-regulating insecticides or the application of oils. However, the emergence of resistance, the side effects on natural enemies and the difficulties associated with the application of oils has led to the development of other methods of integrated pest management.
The Centre for Agricultural Chemical Ecology at the Polytechnic University of Valencia has developed the mating disruption technique as a new method to control the California red scale (Aonidiella aurantii Maskell).

The California red scale is one of the most important pests that affects citrus crops around the world and in the past 20 years in Spain as well. Until now, control of these pests has been based on the use of organophosphates, growth-regulating insecticides or the application of oils. However, the emergence of resistance, the side effects on natural enemies and the difficulties associated with the application of oils has led to the development of other methods of integrated pest management.
The Centre for Agricultural Chemical Ecology at the Polytechnic University of Valencia has developed the mating disruption technique as a new method to control the California red scale (Aonidiella aurantii Maskell). The success of pheromone-based methods depends on the availability of the pheromone at an affordable price, the design of diffusers that release the pheromone in a controlled manner and the adjustment of different parameters: the pheromone dosage, the number of points of application per unit of area and the date of application.
The importance of constant pheromone release during the sensitive growing period has been well established, and thus we have designed a new release device based on porous material technology that achieves a level of pheromone emission of nearly 300 μg/day for more than 150 days.
The results of six years of studies suggest that a minimum pheromone dose of 35 g/ha and a minimum density of 450 release devices/ha are needed before the second male flight takes place. Under these conditions, efficacy results have shown a 90% reduction in the percentage of fruit with more than five scales as compared to the untreated controls. The compatibility of mating disruption with other techniques has also been studied, including its effect on A. aurantii parasitoids, suggesting the full compatibility of this technique with the application of insecticides and augmented releases.

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In accordance with the Organic Law on the Protection of Personal Data 15/1999, of 13 December, Promotora de Exportaciones Catalanas SA (hereinafter PRODECA), whose address is Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 620, principal, 08007 Barcelona, with tax reg. no. NIF A58241316, declares that the images contained on the website www.smartfruitcongress.cat are included in a file belonging to PRODECA. The purpose of this file is the promotion, via its website, of the activities conducted by PRODECA – SmartfFruit IPM International Congress.

PRODECA guarantees that you may, at any time, exercise your right to access, rectify, cancel or oppose by writing to the aforesaid postal address, using the reference "PROTECCIÓN DE DATOS - SMARTFRUIT", or to the email address smartfruitcongress@smartfruitcongress.cat.

Specifically, to correctly exercise these rights you must clearly provide the following items in that communication:
- Name, surname(s) and photocopy of National Identity Document or Passport.
- Statement of the purpose of the request.
- Address for notification purposes.
PRODECA also declares that it reserves the right to delete from its website any content that it considers violates current and applicable legislation.

D’acord amb l’article 17.1 de la Llei 19/2014, la ©Generalitat de Catalunya permet la reutilització dels continguts i de les dades sempre que se'n citi la font i la data d'actualització i que no es desnaturalitzi la informació (article 8 de la Llei 37/2007) i també que no es contradigui amb una llicència específica.