In last month’s newsletter, we introduced the concept of pheromone-based mating disruption as an effective solution for safely protecting your crops from pests. Under the scope of mating disruption, though, there are several platforms of deployment that growers can select from to best suit the unique conditions of their farms.

Among these platforms, ‘Flowable’ or spray-on mating disruption stands out as a uniquely versatile option for growers in situations where a direct application would work best. Flowable pheromone products use a technology known as microencapsulation, which suspends and traps a small amount of pheromone in a microscopic sphere. When deployed in an orchard or vineyards, the microscopic droplets act somewhat like tiny individual dispensers, releasing pheromone and disrupting the mating cycle of the target pest.

Flowable is particularly useful because its versatile, spray-on nature allows growers to deploy the product even during parts of the season that would normally be too costly and expensive to deploy an entirely new bout of pest management. The spray is tank-mixable with most common agrochemicals and is easy to integrate into any existing spray regimen, as growers can simply use whatever spray equipment they have on hand to apply Flowable to their crops.

Because the unique way each droplet of Flowable serves as its own miniature dispenser, spray-on mating disruption does not require the same amount of coverage as most other sprayables. Flowable can also be combined with virtually any amount of water in the tank and still be used effectively. In addition, the formulation is safe for the environment, does not harm beneficial pollinators and natural enemies of pests, and leaves no residue on crops.

Spray-on mating disruption is especially effective for use in situations where growers are experiencing unpredictable pest pressure, as the flexible nature of the technology allows growers to limit their sprays to when they’re needed, where they’re needed. The technology is increasing in popularity and new spray-on mating disruption varieties are constantly being made for new pests, so Flowable is rapidly becoming more applicable to a wide range of growers. Sprayable mating disruption is available for vine mealybug, navel orangeworm, codling moth and many more pests.

Mating disruption is becoming more and more popular in the Integrated Pest Management space to the point of nearly being ubiquitous in some crops. When you consider what mating disruption platforms work best for you, keep sprayable formulations in mind as a flexible and cost-effective solution for protecting your crops.