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IOBC wprs Working Group

Use of pheromones and other semiochemicals in integrated control

International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control
of Noxious Animals and Plants - IOBC
West Palearctic Regional Section - wprs

Contact &
Copies of Publications


Development and promotion of the use of sex pheromones and semiochemicals for monitoring and detection, and for environmentally safe control of harmful insects.


The working group has traditionally served as a liaison between basic research and practical application, with members drawn from academic and government research institutions, plant protection industry and extension services. Approximately 100 biologists and chemists from Europe and overseas regularly attend symposia and workshops.


Progress with insect control by mating disruption - towards more reliable and economic applications - necessitates the improvement of dispenser materials and methods to survey release rates, the measurement of airborne pheromone concentrations in the field, as well as field and laboratory assays on the behavioural mechanisms.

Maintaining a supply of lures for monitoring and detection is a problem of growing concern. Some users complain about inefficiency and non-selectivity of traps found on the market. Chemists and entomologists cooperate in establishing standards for the chemical composition and behavioral activity of lures, and in assuring their availability.

A long-term study concerns agricultural production in the context of chemical ecology as it affects the entire consumer-crop-pest complex.


Insect control by synthetic pheromones has become a reality over the past decade. Mating disruption is used worldwide against up to 20 species, on more than 100 000 ha. In Europe, the largest applications are against the grapevine moths, Eupoecilia ambiguella and Lobesia botrana, and codling moth, Cydia pomonella. The use of pheromone traps for detection and monitoring is now a well-established part of most pest control programmes.

The "List of Sex Pheromones of Lepidoptera and Related Attractants" (originally published by Heinrich Arn, Ernst Priesner and Miklos Tóth in 1986) contains more than 2500 literature entries and has become a widely used reference.


Article by Albert Minks, who founded the Working Group in 1975


Peter Witzgall - SLU, Box 44 - 230 53 Alnarp, Sweden
tel  +46 40 415307 - fax +46 40 461991 - [email protected]

Copies of publications - oder form

Cesare Gessler - Phytomedicine, Universitätstr. 2, 8092 ETH -Zurich, Switzerland
tel +41 1 6323871 - fax +41 1 6321108 - [email protected]

0-05-01 [email protected]