Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner Pheromone Dispenser Trial


Cameraria Damage Full Tree ImageThe Horse chestnut leafminer, Cameraria Ohridella, is a pest of Horse Chestnut trees across Europe. Since 1985, Cameraria Ohridella has rapidly spread across Europe, first arriving in the UK in 2002. The larvae of this moth pest are leaf miners, feeding on the inner tissues (parenchyma) of leaves, protected between the outer layers of epidermis and cuticle. Larval feeding creates semi-translucent and brown circular areas on the leaf and large populations rapidly transform a healthy green horse chestnut tree into a brown, unhealthy and unsightly looking version.

Approach to Monitoring and Controlling

One method of monitoring for and controlling this pest is the use of a pheromone trapping system. The sex pheromone, produced by female moths to attract males, is adsorbed onto a dispenser and the dispenser placed in a trap containing a sticky glue board. Male moths attracted to the pheromone dispenser become entangled in the glue and are unable to escape.


Cameraria Damage Zoom inOne issue with this system is the performance of the pheromone dispenser. Currently, the standard dispenser used does not persist for long enough in the field so attraction of male moths has been reported to decline after ca. two to three weeks. Ideally, attraction should persist for four weeks atleast before the dispenser needs replacing. Here at International Pheromone Systems, we are hoping to address this issue by running a trial over a five week period to investigate the performance of three different dispensers and the effect of adding an extender to the pheromone formulation.

We will post photos on a weekly basis to visually show how the various dispensers are performing and the hope is that we will be able to identify a superior pheromone dispensing system for the Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner - Cameraria Ohridella.

The Trial

Horsechestnut Leaf Miner Pheromone Dispenser Trial Trap SystemA primary site was chosen with a line of over 12 Horse Chestnut trees, bordered by a field of wheat and an overgrown old railway line with mixed tree species. The Hertfordshire Way, a public footpath, runs alongside the line of mature Horse Chestnut trees. Eight traps were placed, one to each tree at a height of 2-2.5 metres. All trees showed signs of the beginnings of a Cameraria ohridella infestation.


Four dispenser types were chosen for testing:

  1. Rubber Septum (Most commonly sold dispenser type)
  2. Cellulose squat with proprietary wax formulation
  3. Polyvial
  4. Polyvial with extender added

Two of each dispenser were to be trialled and randomly allocated to a tree. The dispensers were all placed in a green delta trap containing a white sticky board (see photo right).

The Results

The weekly results of our trial are shown below.

title=Week 1

The results from week one show that all dispensers had attracted the pest, but clear differences were obvious between the different dispensers. The cellulose squats were the most attractive, the vials the least and the septum somewhere between (see images). Because the attractiveness of the vials is surprisingly low we will be running a separate trial using pierced vials which will increase the release rate of the pheromone and hopefully increase attraction. It remains to be seen what effect this will have on field persistence.

The following images are from the end of the first week of the trial:

Vial only: Vial only - Week 1  Vial and extender: Vial and Extender Catch - Week 1 

Septum:  Septum Catch - Week 1  Cellulose squat:  Cellulose and Wax - Week 1


To conclude, we can be confident that dispensers produced by International Pheromone Systems will perform efficiently for a six week period in autumn/spring temperatures. Whether this is also the case in warmer summer temperatures, will need further testing. We would recommend to customers that the cellulose squat be used for monitoring as these perform more sensitively at lower population sizes but for control the cheaper Septa may remain a suitable choice. A further trial to look at different traps and lure performance in warmer temperatures is planned for next summer.

Why choose IPS?

Here at IPS we stand for quality, consistency and efficiency. For more information about what makes us different, click here.

For a full list of all the pheromone's we offer, visit our Pheromone Listing page.

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