- Sanders, C.J.
Canadian Forestry Service
Current strategies for coping with outbreaks of the eastern Spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) depend heavily on tree protection, which involves the aerial application of chemical insecticides over millions of hectares annually until the outbreak collapses. New strategies are evolving which are aimed at the prevention of outbreaks. This requires the early detection of outbreaks, for which pheromone baited traps have great potential, being more sensitive and cheaper than conventional sampling techniques. Once detected, incipient outbreaks would require only modest population reduction to revert them back to the endemic state where regulation is afforded by natural enemies. The synthetic pheromone, an environmentally safe control agent, has potential here in reducing mating and hence oviposition. Recent trials with the aerial application of the synthetic pheromone of C. fumiferana, have given up to 99% reduction in catches of male moths in female baited traps, with some evidence of reduction in mating and oviposition. The results are sufficiently promising to warrant further trials and also fundamental studies of the behavior of pheromone stimulated males.