The 10 key practices that determine the success or failure of the Matting Disruption control methods

Matting Disruption (MD) is a well known control method, developed more than 30 years ago and extensively used in agriculture, specially against Lepidopteran species, but not only. Being an indirect type of control tool makes it complex and still faces failures, from which root causes are not always well understood by users.

For this reason, we want to share 10 aspects which are critical to consider when using MD in order to be successful:

1) Good knowledge of the ecology of the target insect, MD needs to be established always before adults flight is detected and before the matting.

2) The size of the protected area needs to be at least 2 hectares, but the bigger it is the covered surface results will be better.

3) Consider the possible interference of the wind – specially when using aerosols – to minimise it’s possible impact.

4) Flat areas will be easier to protect than hilly regions, so higher reinforcement may need to be considered specially with aerosols, as pheromone volatiles tend to go down.

5) Surrounding crops and their situation needs to be well understood, and always reinforce borders with double rate than in the center of the plot.

6) Use an appropriate controlled release device which has proven to be efficient.

7) Insect population pressure shouldn’t be too high, but if this is the case, then other control methods will need to be combined with the MD.

8) The formulation of the pheromone has to be adequate offering a constant and steady release rate through all the period that needs to be protected.

9) The number and distribution of pheromone dispensers has to be sufficient and with the right distribution in the field.

10) The chemical compounds in the formulations need to have the right purity and content for the monitoring as well as for the MD product.