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ATTRACT

By: Frauke Mävers and Stefan Vidal Wireworms are the larvae of click beetles and an important group of soil dwelling pests. They attack the subterranean parts of a wide range of crop plants and are a serious problem in many cultures, mainly due to the lack of proper control options for this soil-borne pest. ATTRACT is a project that focuses on the development of an innovate technology, taking advantage of the fact that wireworms as well as the western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) and the black vine weevil (Otiorynchus sulcatus) orientate towards their host plants via detecting root CO2- exudates. Providing an alternative CO2- source (attract- component) combined with a biocide as kill-component may be the key to efficient wireworm pest control, especially since insecticides in susceptible crops like potatoes and maize are no longer available. The development of an Attract-and-Kill strategy to control wireworm infestation will contribute to reduced pesticide inputs in sustainable agricultural-horticultural systems and offer potential savings for growers.