Insect Pheromones and Its Applications in Management of Pest Population

  • Subhashree Subhadarsini Mishra
  • Sabita Shroff
  • Jayanta Kumar Sahu
  • Prajna Parimita Naik
  • Iswar BaitharuEmail author


Insects are the members of largest phylum Arthropoda which comprise of numerous unique species. Numbers of species of insects pose threat to the modern agricultural system as pest and destroy crops and food products at different stages. To protect the crops from these pest species, modern agricultural practices involve a parallel evolving market of pesticides which are highly toxic and environmentally unsustainable. Broad-spectrum pesticides kill beneficial insect species along with the damaging pest species. Traces of these pesticide residues in soil and food produce have been reported to alter the soil macro- and mesofauna causing reduction of nutrient mobilization through mineralization processes. Moreover, increased use of chemical pesticide has been reported to cause gradual decrease in the food production recently. Extensive research in this field has given birth to the concept of integrated pest management based on the principle that pest population needs to be managed below their economic injury level and not to be eliminated. The most important requirement in this aspect is to understand the behavior of insect pest species and to identify the hormones that regulate the behaviors of these insects at different stages of their life cycle. At present, a huge number of pheromones have been identified in various insect species and their mechanism of action in modulating insect behaviors is being studied extensively. Though implications of insect pheromone in managing pest population are in its infancy, the potentialities of the pheromones in pest management have already been demonstrated by a number of researcher across the world in various agricultural systems. The present chapter attempts to delineate the details of insect pheromones and further elaborate the present status of their implications in management of pest population in different agricultural systems.


Pheromone Insect Pest control Agriculture 


  1. Alam SN, Rashid MA, Rouf FMA, Jhala RC, Patel JR, Satpathy S, Shivalingaswamy TM, Rai S, Wahundeniya I, Cork A, Ammaranan C, Talekar NS 2003 Development of an integrated pest management strategy for eggplant fruit and shoot borer in South Asia. Technical Bulletin 28, AVRDC. The World Vegetable Center, Shanhua, Taiwan, 66.Google Scholar
  2. Aldrich JR, Blum MS, Fales HM (1979) Species-specific natural products of adult male leaf-footed bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). J Chem Ecol 5:53–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aldrich JR, Blum MS, Duffey SS, Fales HM (1976) Male specific natural products in the bug, Leptoglossus phyllopus: Chemistry and possible function. J Insect Physiol 22(9):1201–1206Google Scholar
  4. Alfaro C, Navarro-Llopis V, Primo J (2009) Optimization of pheromone dispenser density for managing the rice striped stem borer, Chilo suppressalis (Walker), by mating disruption. Crop Prot 28:567–572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Atanassov A, Shearer PW, Hamilton G, Polk D (2002) Development and implementation of a reduced risk peach arthropod management program in New Jersey. J Econ Entomol 95:803–812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Athanassiou C, Kavallieratos N, Mazomenos B (2004) Effect of trap type, trap color, trapping location, and pheromone dispenser on captures of male Palpita unionalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). J Econ Entomol 97:321–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blomquist GJ, Figueroa-Teran R, Aw M, Song M, Gorzalski A, Abbott NL (2010) Pheromone production in bark beetles. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 40:699–712CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boch R, Shearer DA, Stone BC (1962) Identification of Iso-Amyl Acetate as an Active Component in the Sting Pheromone of the Honey Bee. Nat 195(4845):1018–1020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bossert WH, Wilson EO (1963) The analysis of olfactory communication among animals. J Theoret Biol 3:443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brammall RA, Higgins VJ (1988) The effect of glyphosate on resistance of tomato to Fusarium crown and root rot disease and on the formation of host structural defensive barriers. Can J Bot 66:1547–1555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brouwer A, Longnecker MP, Birnbaum LS, Cogliano J, Kostyniak P, Moore J, Schantz S, Winneke G (1999) Characterization of potential endocrine related health effects at low dose levels of exposure to PCBs. Environ Health Prospect 107:639Google Scholar
  12. Butenandt A (1963) Bombykol, the sex attractive substance of the silkworm Bombyx mori. Endocrinology 27:9Google Scholar
  13. Byers JA (2007) Simulation of Mating Disruption and Mass Trapping with Competitive Attraction and Camouflage. Environ Entomol 36(6):1328–1338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chakravarty P, Sidhu SS (1987) Effects of glyphosate, hexazinone and triclopyr on in vitro growth of five species of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Euro J Path 17:204–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cork A, Alam SN, Das A, Das CS, Ghosh GC, Farman DI, Hall DR, Maslen NR, Vedham K, Phythiam SJ, Rouf FMA, Srinivasan K (2001) Female sex pheromone of brinjal fruit and shoot borer, Leucinodes orbonalis blend optimization. J Chem Ecol 27(9):1867–1877CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cork A, Alam SN, Rouf FMA, Talekar NS (2005) Development of mass trapping technique for control of brinjal shoot and fruit borer, (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Bull Entomol Res 95(6):589–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cork A, Kamal QN, Alam SN, Choudhury SCJ, Talekar NS (2003) Pheromones and their application to insect pest control – a review. Bangladesh J Entomol 13:1–13Google Scholar
  18. Crisp TM, Clegg ED, Cooper RL, Wood WP, Anderson DG, Baeteke KP, Hoffmann JL, Morrow MS, Rodier DJ, Schaeffer JE, Touart LW, Zeeman MG, Patel YM (1998) Environmental endocrine disruption: an effect assessment and analysis. Environ Health Prospect 106:11Google Scholar
  19. Dorn S, Pinero JC (2009) How do key tree-fruit pests detect and colonize their hosts: mechanisms and application for IPM. In: Biorational tree-fruit pest management, 1st edn, pp 85–109.
  20. El-Sayed AM, Suckling DM, Wearing CH, Byers JA (2006) Potential of mass trapping for long-term pest management and eradication of invasive species. J Econ Entomol 99:1550–1564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Epstein DL, Stelinski LL, Miller JR, Grieshop MJ, Gut LJ (2011) Effects of reservoir dispenser height on efficacy of mating disruption of codling moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in apple. Pest Manag Sci 67:975–979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Epstein DL, Stelinski LL, Reed TP, Miller JR, Gut LJ (2006) Higher densities of distributed pheromone sources provide disruption of codling moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) superior to that of lower densities of clumped sources. J Econ Entomol 99:1327–1333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ginzel MD (2010) Olfactory signals. In: Breed M, Moore J (eds) Encyclopedia of animal behavior, vol 2. Elsevier Ltd., Oxford, pp 584–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Heath RR, Teal PEA, Epsky ND, Dueben BD, Hight SD, Bloem S et al (2006) Pheromone based attractant for males of Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Environ Entomol 35:1469–1476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hurley PM, Hill RN, Whiting RJ (1998) Mode of carcinogenic action of pesticides inducing thyroid follicular cell tumors in rodents. Environ Health Prospect 106:437CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Islam MA (2009) Study on the Lepidopteran sex pheromones including multiple double bonds. PhD Thesis, Graduate school of bio applications and system engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo, Japan, 147.Google Scholar
  27. Islam MA, Yamamoto M, Sigie M, Naka H, Tabata J, Arita Y, Ando T (2007) Synthesis and Characterization of 2,13- and 3,13-Octadecadienals for the identification of the sex pheromone secreted by a clearwing moth. J Chem Ecol 33:1763–1773CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kim Y, Jung S, Kim Y, Lee Y (2011) Real-time monitoring of oriental fruit moth, Grapholita molesta, populations using a remote sensing pheromone trap in apple orchards. J Asia-Pacific Entomol 14:259–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kirsch P (1988) Pheromones: their potential role in the control of agricultural insect pests. Am J Altern Agric 3:83–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Knight AL, Hilton R, Light DM (2005) Monitoring codling moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in apple with blends of ethyl (E, Z)-2,4-decadienoate and codlemone. Environ Entomol 34:598–603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kole RK, Banerjee H, Bhattacharyya A (2001) Monitoring of market fish samples for Endosulfan and Hexachlorocyclohexane residues in and around Calcutta. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 67:554–559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kovaleski A, Botton M, Eiras AE, Vilela E (1998) Lagarta enroladeira da macieira Bonagota cranaodes (Meyrick, 1937) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae): Bioecologia, moitoramento e controle. EMBRAPA, CNPUV, Bento Goncalves, 67–87Google Scholar
  33. Kuwahara Y (1984) Flight Time of Bombyx mandarina Males to a Pheromone Trap Baited with Bombykol. Appl Entomol Zool 19(3):400–401Google Scholar
  34. Laurent P, Frérot B (2007) Monitoring of European corn borer with pheromone-baited traps: Review of trapping system basics and remaining problems. J Econ Entomol 100:1797–1807CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Law J, Regnier F (1971) Pheromones. Ann Rev Biochem 40:533–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Leoncini I, Le Conte Y, Costagliola G, Plettner E, Toth AL, Wang M, Huang Z, Becard JM, Crauser D, Slessor KN, Robinson GE (2004) Regulation of behavioral maturation by a primer pheromone produced by adult worker honey bees. Proc Natl Acad Sci 101(50):17559–17564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Leskey TC, Wright SE, Short BD, Khrimian A (2012) Development of behaviorally-based monitoring tools for the brown marmorated stink bug (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) in commercial tree fruit orchards. J Entomol Sci 47:76–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Liroff RA (2000) Balancing risks of DDT and malaria in the global POPs treaty. Pestic Saf News 4:3Google Scholar
  39. Locke D, Landivar JA, Moseley D (1995) The effects of rate and timing of glyphosate applications of defoliation efficiency, regrowth inhibition, lint yield, fiber quality and seed quality. Proc Beltwide Cotton Conf Nat Cotton Coun Am:1088–1090Google Scholar
  40. Lopez JD, Shaver TN, Dickerson WA (1990) Population monitoring of Heliothis spp. using pheromones. In: Ridgway RL, Silverstein RM, Inscoe MA (eds) Behaviour-modifying chemicals for insect pest management. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 473–496Google Scholar
  41. Mazumder F, Khalequzzaman M (2010) Eggplant shoot and fruit borer Leucinodes orbonalis Guenee male moth catch in sex pheromone trap with special reference of lure elevation and IPM. J Bio Sci 18:9–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Meyer HJ, Norris DM (1967) Vanillin and Syringaldehyde as Attractants for Scolytus multistriatus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae)1. Ann Entomol Soc Am 60(4):858–859Google Scholar
  43. Miller JR, McGhee PS, Siegert PY, Adams CG, Huang J, Grieshop MJ et al (2010) General principles of attraction and competitive attraction as revealed by large-cage studies of moths responding to sex pheromone. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:22–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Moorman TB (1989) A review of pesticide effects on microorganisms and microbial processes related to soil fertility. J Prod Agri 2(1):14–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Nealis VG, Silk P, Turnquist R, Wu J (2010) Baited pheromone traps track changes in populations of western blackheaded budworm (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Can Entomol 142:458–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nojima S (2005) Identification of the Sex Pheromone of the German Cockroach, Blattella germanica. Sci 307(5712):1104–1106Google Scholar
  47. Okada K, Mori M, Shimazaki K, Chuman T (1990) Behavioral responses of male Periplaneta americana L. to female sex pheromone components, periplanone-A and periplanone-B. J Chem Ecol 16(9):2605–2614Google Scholar
  48. Pell M, Stenberg B, Torstensson L (1998) Potential denitrification and nitrification tests for evaluation of pesticide effects in soil. Ambio 27:24–28Google Scholar
  49. Peng C, Gu P, Li J, Chen Q, Feng C, Luo H et al (2012) Identification and field bioassay of the sex pheromone of Trichophysetis cretacea (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). J Econ Entomol 105:1566–1572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Phillips T (1997) Semiochemicals of stored-product insects: Research and applications. J Stored Prod Res 33:17–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Piñero JC, Prokopy RJ (2003) Field evaluation of plant odor and pheromonal combinations for attracting plum curculios. J Chem Ecol 29:2735–2748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Prokopy R, Ziegler J, Wong T (1978) Deterrence of repeated oviposition by fruit-marking pheromone in Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae). J Chem Ecol 4:55–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Ranga Rao GV, Wightman JA, Ranga Rao DV (1991) The development of a standard pheromone trapping procedure for Spodoptera litura (F.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) population in groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) crops. Trop Pest Manag 37:37–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rau P, Rau NL (1929) The sex attraction and rhythmic periodicity in giant Saturniid moths. Trans Acad Sci St. Louis 26:83Google Scholar
  55. Regnier FE, Law JH (1968) Insect pheromones. J Lipid Res 9:541–551PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Savonen C (1997) Soil microorganisms object of new OSU service. Good Fruit Grower.
  57. Schiestl FP, Roubik DW (2004) Odor Compound Detection in Male Euglossine Bees. J Chem Ecol 29(1):253–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Šobotník J, Hanus R, Kalinová B, Piskorski R, Cvačka J, Bourguignon T, Roisin Y (2008) (E,E)-α-Farnesene, an Alarm Pheromone of the Termite Prorhinotermes canalifrons. J Chem Ecol 34(4):478–486Google Scholar
  59. Stelinski LL, Oakleaf R, Rodriguez-Saona C (2007) Oviposition deterring pheromone deposited on blueberry fruit by the parasitic wasp, Diachasma alloeum. Behavior 144:429–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tinzaara W, Dicke M, van Huis A, Gold CS (2002) Use of infochemicals in pest management with special reference to the banana weevil, Cosmopolites sordidus (Germar) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Insect Sci Appl 22:241–261Google Scholar
  61. Trimble RM (2007) Comparison of efficacy of pheromone dispensing technologies for controlling the grape berry moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) by mating disruption. J Econ Entomol 100:1815–1820CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Uddin ABMA, Alam SN, Alam MZ (2008) Effect of different pheromone trap designs and installation height in the brinjal field for catching brinjal shoot and fruit borer male moth. Bangladesh J Entomol 18(1):11–21Google Scholar
  63. Vacas S, Vanaclocha P, Alfaro C, Primo J, Jesus Verdu M, Urbaneja A et al (2012) Mating disruption for the control of Aonidiella aurantii Maskell (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) may contribute to increased effectiveness of natural enemies. Pest Manag Sci 68:142–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Vang LV, Islam MA, Do ND, Hai TV, Koyano S, Okahana Y, Ohbayashi N, Yamamoto M, Ando T (2008) 7,11,13- Hexadecatrienal identified from female moths of the citrus leaf miner as a new sex pheromone component: synthesis and field evaluation in Vietnam and Japan. J Pestic Sci 33(2):152–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wall C (1990) Principle of monitoring. In: Ridgway RL, Silverstein RM, Inscoe MN (eds) Behavior- modifying chemicals for insect management. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, pp 9–23Google Scholar
  66. Waskom R (1994). Best management practices for private well protection. Colorado State Univ. Cooperative Extension (August).
  67. Williams DG (1989) Forecasting codling moth spray dates with pheromones traps and (ed). Application of pheromones to pest control. Proceedings of a workshop held at CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, CSIROGoogle Scholar
  68. Witzgall P, Stelinski L, Gut L, Thomson D (2008) Codling Moth Management and Chemical Ecology. Annu Rev Entomol 53(1):503–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Yao S, Johannsen M, Hazell RG, Jørgensen KA (1998) Total Synthesis of ( )-Dihydroactinidiolide and ( )-Actinidiolide Using Asymmetric Catalytic Hetero-Diels−Alder Methodology. J Org Chem 63(1):118–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Zijlstra C, Lund I, Justesen AF, Nicolaisen M, Jensen PK, Bianciotto V, Posta K, Balestrini R, Przetakiewicz A, Czembor E, van de Zande J (2011) Combining novel monitoring tools and precision application technologies for integrated high-tech crop protection in the future (a discussion document). Pest Manag Sci 67(6):616–25. Epub 2011 Mar 28. Review.
  71. Zhu J, Zhang A, Park K, Baker T, Lang B, Jurenka R (2006) Sex pheromone of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura, and its potential use in semiochem ical-based control. Environ Entomol 35:249–257Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Subhashree Subhadarsini Mishra
    • 1
  • Sabita Shroff
    • 2
  • Jayanta Kumar Sahu
    • 3
  • Prajna Parimita Naik
    • 4
  • Iswar Baitharu
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.P.G. Department of Environmental SciencesSambalpur UniversitySambalpurIndia
  2. 2.School of ChemistrySambalpur UniversitySambalpurIndia
  3. 3.School of Life scienceSambalpur UniversitySambalpurIndia
  4. 4.Department of ZoologyVikram Deb Autonomous CollegeJeyporeIndia

Personalised recommendations