R&D Topics Addressed:

Another method under development is the use of pheromones to disrupt spruce budworm mating. Pheromones are airborne signals used by insects to locate one another. One of the major roles of pheromones is to attract spruce budworm to one another so they can mate. Our mating disruption research seeks to disrupt this mate location by applying pheromone in the canopies of vulnerable balsam fir and spruce trees. When adult spruce budworm enter the canopies, they will be confused by the airborne pheromone, and unable to find partners. No mating means less caterpillars feeding on the needles of trees in the following year. Pheromones occur naturally and are species-specific, meaning that the spruce budworm pheromone only affects this insect and therefore poses no risk to humans or other animals.

Investigators:

P. Silk & E. Eveleigh (AFC), L. Roscoe, P. Mayo, W. MacKinnon, G. LeClair, M. Williams, Gl. Forbes, M. Brophy, K. Burgess, R. Lamb (AFC)