, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 37–45 | Cite as

Development of sol–gel formulations for slow release of pheromones

  • Anat ZadaEmail author
  • Lily Falach
  • John A. Byers
Research Paper


A new type of dispenser for slow-release of sex pheromones and other semiochemicals was developed based on sol–gel polymers that can be useful for monitoring, mass trapping, and mating disruption in integrated pest management (IPM). Sol–gel matrices exhibit glass characteristics and allow control of the degree of cross-linking during the polymerization process in order to provide an optimal release rate for a particular pheromone. The advantages of sol–gel (silica) matrixes include keeping the added molecules chemically stable and enabling the sol–gel material to be applied in any desired thickness and pheromone quantity, and thereby readily modify release rates. In addition, sol–gels are primarily silica and water that are common in the environment and therefore safe for field dispensing. We developed a method for the entrapment of pheromones in sol–gel matrices that allowed release at an almost constant rate over many days in the field. For example, 2.5 mg (E)-5-decenyl acetate pheromone of peach twig borer, Anarsia lineatella, entrapped in various sol–gel formulations released 14–45 μg/day for up to 28 days. The codling moth (Cydia pomonella) pheromone in sol–gels was used in field tests to capture more codling moth males than unbaited control traps. We describe how the method may be modified to entrap other types of pheromones by making sol–gels with different pore sizes.


Sol–gel Dispenser Pheromone Semiochemicals Lure Release rates Anarsia lineatella Cydia pomonella 



We would like to thank the GIF Young-Scientists Foundation, Program No. G-2057-1179.12/2002 for supporting this research. We thank Mrs Ariela Niv of the Israeli Cotton Board and Mrs Miriam Harel of Institute of Plant Protection, ARO for their assistance. In addition we thank Dr. Ezra Dunkelblum, Institute of Plant Protection, ARO and Prof. Albert Zilkha, Dept. of Organic Chemistry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem for helpful consultations and Mark Sarrabia, pest-supervisor of the orchards in Kibbutz Tzuba, for allowing us to conduct our experiments in the walnut orchard.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/Switzerland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Entomology-Chemistry, Institute of Plant ProtectionAgricultural Research OrganizationBet DaganIsrael
  2. 2.US Arid-Land Agricultural Research CenterUSDA-ARSMaricopaUSA

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