Frequently Asked Questions
I'm new to this, how do pheromone traps and lures work? What do I need?
Semiochemicals such as insect sex pheromones are a class of natural chemicals emitted by organisms for communication, typically with members of the same species. Many insect species emit sex pheromones to attract a mate and reproduce. ISCA synthetizes these pheromones, which are indistinguishable from the natural pheromone of the insect species. These insect pheromones typically have an effect only on a single target species, so one can use them to selectively attract a specific insect species, with no effect on non-target species such as natural predators and beneficial insects (like bees). It's safe, effective and suitable for organic situations.
Pheromone lures are only effective at attracting the target species, there is no "killing agent". Pheromone lures should be used with a sticky trap (such as our delta traps) or some other means of trapping or killing the target species.
The same traps can be used for most target species, they are simply paper (or plastic) with a sticky surface to trap the insect. The pheromone lure is what determines which species of insect is attracted to the trap. You would place one lure on the sticky surface of a trap and it will begin to attract the target species.
I've found your product at a lower cost from another supplier, can you beat or match their price?
We are confident that our pest management products offer the best price and value that you will find. ISCA Technologies has a price matching policy. If you believe that you have found a better price, please provide us with appropriate documentation from the supplier, and we will review the documentation to determine if we can match or beat a supplier’s price. Acceptable documentation includes but is not limited to official price quotes, invoices, or receipts from the supplier for a similar product at similar purchase terms, such as quality specifications, quantity and packaging. In many instances, we have verified that competitor pheromone lures have lower prices because of lower quality, for example, lower loading and purity of active ingredients, which results in lower pheromone lure efficacy and longevity.
What do I need to trap (species)?
You will need two components to successfully trap any species: a trap and a lure. Most traps can be used with many different species of pest, depending on which lure is used.
It is also important to select the appropriate trap for the lure type. When you read the item description for a lure, you will also see a link to the recommended trap for that particular lure.
How many traps/lures do I need?
Trap and lure spacing is dependent on many factors, including environmental conditions, pest populations, tree spacing, etc.
If you are using the traps for mass trapping, you can use up to 1 or 2 per tree to help reduce populations of the target species. Mass trapping can be successful for small areas, few trees (such as backyard growers), and low pest populations.
For areas with a high pest population, mass trapping is not enough to provide control and additional methods should be used. In this situation, pheromone traps are useful for monitoring population levels and helping to determine when to apply additional methods of control.
For a recommendation for your specific requirements, please contact us.
How safe are insect pheromones?
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states in their Lepidopteran Pheromones Fact Sheet : “Based on low toxicity in animal testing, and expected low exposure to humans, no risk to human health is expected from the use of these pheromones. During more than 10 years of use of lepidopteran pheromones as pesticides, no adverse effects have been reported. The safety record for lepidopteran pheromones has allowed the Agency to conclude that consumption of food containing residues of the pheromones presents no risk.”
The entomological field of insect chemical ecology is the study of the natural chemicals involved in the communication between insects of the same species. This class of chemicals is also known as semiochemicals. We believe that managing damaging insect pests with semiochemicals such as insect sex pheromones is the safest method currently known to science. For example, the nature identical, species-specific lepidopteran (moth) sex pheromone affects only the males of that species and disrupts their ability to find a female to mate. If the males cannot find females, they are not able to reproduce and the population of the pest decreases. Behavior manipulation of insects using semiochemicals is happening around us all the time in nature. Flowering plants, for instance, emit odors to attract insects so that they visit and pollinate them.
Do you have products suitable for control on a large scale?
Absolutely, we have developed our proprietary SPLAT technology which is suitable for area-wide control of target species. We currently offer SPLAT products for a variety of species, with many more in various stages of R&D.
For more information about SPLAT, please click here.
I don't see a lure for the species I am looking for, where can I find it?
Due the large number of lures that ISCA offers, we are only able to list the most common lures requested by our customers. If you don't see your species online, please contact us to find out if we currently offer a lure for this species.
I am looking for the pheromone for a species that you do not currently offer, can you synthesize it?
We do have the capability to conduct the research and development to develop the synthetic route for many chemicals and custom synthesize the required amount of the chemical. However, this is usually an expensive process. Please contact us for more details.
Are all pheromone traps and lures the same? Should I just buy the lowest priced pheromone trap and lure for an insect species?
Due to many environmental or biological variables in the field, it is difficult to know when pheromone traps and lures are not performing well in the field because of defective standards or manufacturing. If one suspects that defective standards or manufacturing are the cause, it is technically difficult and cost prohibitive for most customers to perform quality analysis of pheromone lures. With its analytical chemistry capabilities, ISCA can work with its customers to identify any possible issues with its customers. ISCAlure pheromone lures are based on extensive R&D and field efficacy testing, and manufactured with strict quality analysis standards. For more information and the reasons that ISCAlure pheromone lures are the best quality lures you will find, please visit here.
Case Study 1: Analyzing loading of pheromone active ingredients
A researcher compared the field efficacy of different pheromone lures for an insect species. Based on the field results from the first week, the researcher observed that a competitor lure was performing better than ISCAlure. ISCA was able to analyze the competitor lure, and determined that the competitor lure had a lower loading of pheromone active ingredient compared to ISCAlure, which was the cause of the better trap catches during the first week, but the lower loading of pheromone active ingredient would result in lower field longevity. Independent field trials subsequently confirmed ISCA’s analytical results, that after the second week and throughout the remaining field duration (approximately 6 to 8 weeks), ISCAlure outperformed the competitor lure in both trap catch and field longevity.
Case Study 2: Optimizing pheromone blends
Based on feedback from growers about the cost of a pheromone lure, a researcher wanted to determine the most cost-effective pheromone blend for an insect species. ISCA’s synthetic and analytical chemists collaborated with the researcher to synthesize, formulate and manufacture pheromone lures with different blends of pheromone active ingredients which could potentially improve the pheromone lure efficacy while lowering the cost. From this collaboration, a lower cost and improved ISCAlure was successfully developed.
Case Study 3: Improving the isomeric purity of pheromone active ingredients
Based on research conducted by independent researchers, ISCA’s insect chemical ecologists realized that an isomer in a pheromone component was causing a repellent effect. ISCA’s synthetic and analytical chemists performed the R&D to improve the isomeric purity of the pheromone component. Subsequent field trials by independent researchers confirmed that the ISCAlures with the highest isomeric purity were the best performing pheromone lures.
ISCA Technologies products may be protected by one or more United States patents, and/or international patents or patents pending, including without limitation: 6,385,544, 6,766,.251, 11/982,946, 12/981,027, PI 0713456-8, 07867376.1, 2007317844, 2669036, 09-058695, MX/a/2009/004887, 6,001,346, 5,728,376, 12/547,095.
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