Development and optimization of methods for using sex pheromone for monitoring the mealybug Planococcus ficus (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae) in California vineyards

J Econ Entomol. 2002 Aug;95(4):706-14. doi: 10.1603/0022-0493-95.4.706.


The sex pheromone of the vine mealybug Planococcus ficus Signoret has been identified as a single component, lavandulyl senecioate. Racemic lavandulyl senecioate was as attractive to male mealybugs as the insect-produced (S)-enantiomer, indicating that the unnatural enantiomer is not inhibitory. Lavandulol, which also was found in extracts from virgin females, antagonized attraction of males at higher doses. Rubber septum lures loaded with 10- to 1,000-microg doses of the pheromone were equally attractive, and lures loaded with 100 microg of racemic pheromone remained attractive for at least 12 wk under field conditions. Delta traps were more effective than double-sided sticky cards and minimized captures of nontarget insects. Pheromone-baited traps had an effective range of at least 50 m. Comparison of visual sampling methods and sampling of males with pheromone-baited traps revealed that trap catches were significantly correlated with the results from visual sampling methods, and with economic damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alkenes / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • California
  • Esters / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Hemiptera / physiology*
  • Insect Control / methods*
  • Male
  • Monoterpenes
  • Sex Attractants / chemical synthesis
  • Sex Attractants / physiology*
  • Vitis


  • Alkenes
  • Esters
  • Monoterpenes
  • Sex Attractants
  • lavandulyl senecioate