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J Econ Entomol. 2009 Jun;102(3):815-35.

Potential of "lure and kill" in long-term pest management and eradication of invasive species.

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HortResearch, Canterbury Research Centre, Lincoln 8152, New Zealand.


"Lure and kill" technology has been used for several decades in pest management and eradication of invasive species. In lure and kill, the insect pest attracted by a semiochemical lure is not "entrapped" at the source of the attractant as in mass trapping, but instead the insect is subjected to a killing agent, which eliminates affected individuals from the population after a short period. In past decades, a growing scientific literature has been published on this concept. This article provides the first review on the potential of lure and kill in long-term pest management and eradication of invasive species. We present a summary of lure and kill, either when used as a stand-alone control method or in combination with other methods. We discuss its efficacy in comparison with other control methods. Several case studies in which lure and kill has been used with the aims of long-term pest management (e.g., pink bollworm, Egyptian cotton leafworm, codling moth, apple maggot, biting flies, and bark beetles) or the eradication of invasive species (e.g., tephritid fruit flies and boll weevils) are provided. Subsequently, we identify essential knowledge required for successful lure and kill programs that include lure competitiveness with natural odor source; lure density; lure formulation and release rate; pest population density and risk of immigration; and biology and ecology of the target species. The risks associated with lure and kill, especially when used in the eradication programs, are highlighted. We comment on the cost-effectiveness of this technology and its strengths and weaknesses, and list key reasons for success and failure. We conclude that lure and kill can be highly effective in controlling small, low-density, isolated populations, and thus it has the potential to add value to long-term pest management. In the eradication of invasive species, lure and kill offers a major advantage in effectiveness by its being inverse density dependent and it provides some improvements in efficacy over related control methods. However, the inclusion of insecticides or sterilants in lure and kill formulations presents a major obstacle to public acceptance.

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