To monitor Stenoma that could be infecting Peruvian avocados, the Hoddle team deployed pheromone traps in certified avocado export orchards and avocado growing areas not certified for export.
"The sex pheromone is very attractive to adult male Stenoma," Hoddle said. "As expected, Stenoma has not been trapped in export orchards located in the coastal desert production regions of Peru. In non-certified export areas in the Junin District, where Stenoma is known to occur, males have been trapped.
"It is abundantly clear that the sex pheromone we developed for Stenoma cantenifer from our recent research in Guatemala works in Peru," Hoddle said. "We have shown that it also works in Mexico, Guatemala and Brazil. It is likely to work in any country with a native Stenoma population Mexico, all of Central America and parts of South America. Countries exporting or wanting to export avocados to the United States should use the Stenoma pheromone to monitor their export orchards for this pest to demonstrate that they are pest-free year round."
In California (San Diego, Riverside, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo Counties), Hoddle's team already has set up a proactive monitoring network with the Stenoma pheromone to detect the moth early should it ever arrive in the state and, if need be, eradicate it when populations are still small and highly localized.
For the research project in Peru, Hoddle is partnering with SENASA (Servicio Nacional de Sanidad Agraria), Peru's equivalent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS). SENASA invited Hoddle to Peru to
|Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala|
University of California - Riverside