Sirex noctilio in North America: the effect of stem-injection timing on the attractiveness and suitability of trap trees.
Sirex noctilio Fabricius, an invasive woodwasp responsible for severe economic damage to pine industries in the southern hemisphere, is now established in the northeastern U.S.A. and portions of eastern Canada. Parts of North America are considered to be high risk for S. noctilio invasion. Effective detection tools, including trap trees, are needed to monitor and survey S. noctilio populations. The present study was conducted to determine the optimal time to chemically stress a tree when aiming to attract the most S. noctilio to the host substrate, as well as to determine which timing produced the most adult progeny. Both of these measures (host attraction and host suitability for development) support the main objectives of the study by offering improved methods for monitoring and management of S. noctilio. Red pine (Pinus resinosa) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) were treated with Dicamba at three time intervals. Multiple funnel lindgren traps were placed on these trees and, at the end of the flight season, the treatment trees were felled and brought into the laboratory. The number of S. noctilio caught in the traps (host attraction) and the number of S. noctilio emerged from the treated trees (host suitability) were determined. Optimal timing of the chemical girdle was dependent on host species. Significantly more female S. noctilio were captured on trap trees prepared 1 month before flight (red pine and Scots pine) or prepared at flight (Scots pine) compared with other treatments. There were also significantly more females reared from Scots pine trap trees prepared at flight and red pine trap trees prepared 1 month before and/or at flight. By the beginning of August, most (79%) of the S. noctilio for the flight season were caught in the traps at the trap trees. The sex ratio (males:females) was closer to 1:1 than previously reported in studies from other countries. The results obtained in the present study demonstrate that timing is important when creating a trap tree with herbicide in North America, whether for the purpose of detection or as part of a biological control effort.