Bait-free attract and kill technology (Hook™ RPW) to suppress red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in date palm.

Category : Hook


The red palm weevil (RPW), Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is a lethal pest of date palm, Phoenix dactylifera L, and several other palm species worldwide. Pheromone (Ferrugineol) traps have been used to monitor and mass trap RPW in area-wide integrated pest management programs (IPM). However, these conventional food baited pheromone traps (FBPTs) have to be periodically serviced (change of food bait and insecticide solution) which is labor intensive. A bait-free method to ‘attract and kill’ RPW adults, Hook™ RPW, has been recently developed for weevil control in date palm. We tested this formulation against FBPTs for controlling RPW in a date plantation in Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia. Weevil captures were not significantly different in the Hook RPW- and FBPT-treated plots, indicating that both equally sustained trapping efficiency during the test period of 3 mo. Using Hook RPW in and around heavily infested plantations could substantially reduce the cost of an area-wide IPM program due to elimination of trap servicing associated with FBPTs. Additionally, Hook RPW demonstrated the same level of attractiveness with or without the presence of food bait, suggesting that the formulation may be applied directly to non-susceptible date palm trees without the risk of bait-lure synergy which could potentially incite damage to healthy trees.