Lure Development

Improving the California Fivespined Ips Aggregation Lure


Ips paraconfusus (California fivespined Ips) is a pine engraver beetle that feeds on multiple species of pine.  Past management practices of ponderosa pine forests (Pinus ponderosa) (primary host) have increased the significance of I. paraconfusus as a pest in California and Oregon.

Ponderosa pine killed by California fivespined Ips in Washington.  Photo: Glenn Kohler.

The goal of this project was to field test standard and novel aggregation lure formulations.  (+)-ipsdienol is a major active component of Ips paraconfusus and is also costly to produce.  In this collaboration with Synergy Semiochemicals Corp., we tested a crude, impure ipsdienol that is more biologically relevant and has a lower production cost.

A total of 45,936 I. paraconfusus beetles were collected in 2014 and 7,122 in 2015.  A strong preference for the crude, impure ipsdienol treatment was clear.  Both the total number of I. paraconfusus caught of over the study duration (Fig. 3), and the total catch per date reflect this preference for both years.

Figure 3. 2015 trap capture totals from 7/7-8/19 in the Columbia River Gorge.


The results show a strong preference for the novel crude lure and Synergy Semiochemicals Corp. has developed production methods to produce the unpurified ipsdienol at a reduced cost compared to the standard lure.  The crude produced ipsdienol is thought to more closely match the hind gut contents of I. paraconfusus males.  Another interesting finding was the increased attractiveness of the pheromone blend with the addition of myrtenol to the standard lure, however it was not as attractive as the crude formulation alone.


Todd Murray, Washington State University Extension

Elizabeth A. Willhite, USDA Forest Service

David Wakarchuk, Synergy Semiochemicals Corp.

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