Pheromones & Monitoring


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As chemical signals that insects use for communication, pheromones are mostly used to attract mates or to advise the same insects of a food source. After studying these pheromones, many have been chemically identified and synthetically recreated and are now produced in large quantities commercially and used for pest control. They can be used for monitoring pests and for direct control by means of mating disruption. By manipulating the behavior of insect pests, crops are better protected, but pheromones are also used in the form of baited traps which help to determine the levels of infestations in certain areas and at certain times.

Monitoring pests, massive reductions in the population density of insects, and disrupting the mating of insect populations are the main three major applications of pheromones.

Pheromones are not toxic to insects as they function just as an attractant, but they can play an important role in integrated pest management for structural, landscape, and agricultural problems.