A new chick magnet – if you’re a moth


IUPAC Symposium 3A – Chemical Ecology and Crop Protection, Thursday 9:30am

Peter Gregg, Cotton CRC

A plant perfume that attracts female moths—a world-first attractant invented by the Cotton Catchment Communities CRC and its partner Ag Biotech Australia—is already reducing pesticide use by Queensland and NSW cotton growers.

Peter Gregg and his colleagues have developed a ‘moth magnet’ that attracts Helicoverpa, the cotton boll worm moth which causes billions of dollars of damage to agriculture world-wide.

“We have recently registered what we believe to be a unique product for insect pest management – an attractant based on plant volatile chemicals (scents) which can be used to lure and kill some of the world’s worst insect pests. What’s special is that it attracts both female and male moths. Current options only attract males but they’re not the ones laying the eggs. We believe this is the first such product to become commercially available anywhere in the world. It is unusual for such advances to be made in Australia – they are generally the province of the large multinational agrichemical companies,” Peter says.

The new product is sold as Magnet Insect Attractant Technology.