Robust manipulations of pest insect behavior using repellents and practical application for integrated pest management

Anna K. Wallingford, Dong H. Cha, Charles E. Linn, Michael S. Wolfin, Gregory M. Loeb

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


In agricultural settings, examples of effective control strategies using repellent chemicals in integrated pest management (IPM) are relatively scarce compared to those using attractants. This may be partly due to a poor understanding of how repellents affect insect behavior once they are deployed. Here we attempt to identify potential hallmarks of repellent stimuli that are robust enough for practical use in the field. We explore the literature for success stories using repellents in IPM and we investigate the mechanisms of repellency for two chemical oviposition deterrents for controlling Drosophila suzukii Matsumura, a serious pest of small fruit crops. Drosophila suzukii causes injury by laying her eggs in ripening fruit and resulting larvae make fruit unmarketable. In caged choice tests, reduced oviposition was observed in red raspberry fruit treated with volatile 1-octen-3-ol and geosmin at two initial concentrations (10% and 1%) compared to untreated controls. We used video monitoring to observe fly behavior in these caged choice tests and investigate the mode of action for deterrence through the entire behavioral repertoire leading to oviposition. We observed fewer visitors and more time elapsed before flies first landed on 1-octen-3-ol-treated fruits than control fruits and concluded that this odor primarily inhibits behaviors that occur before D. suzukii comes in contact with a potential oviposition substrate (precontact). We observed some qualitative differences in precontact behavior of flies around geosmin-treated fruits; however, we concluded that this odor primarily inhibits behaviors that occur after D. suzukii comes in contact with treated fruits (postcontact). Field trials found reduced oviposition in red raspberry treated with 1-octen-3-ol and a combination of 1-octen-3-ol and geosmin, but no effect of geosmin alone. Recommendations for further study of repellents for practical use in the field are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1041-1050
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental entomology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Insect Science

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