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Lepidopteran Pheromones Fact Sheet

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SUMMARY

Lepidopteran pheromones are used to disrupt the mating behavior of certain moths whose larvae destroy crops and trees. Data indicate that these compounds do not present any known risks to humans or the environment.

Issued: 09/01

I. DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTIVE INGREDIENT

Pheromones are volatile chemicals produced by a given species to communicate with other individuals of the same species to change their behavior. For example, various species use pheromones to attract a mate, to mark territory, or to warn others of danger. Pheromones are usually effective in tiny amounts.

The lepidopteran group of insects includes butterflies and moths. All of the lepidopteran pheromones that EPA has approved for pesticide use are chemicals produced by female moths to attract a mate. The pesticide products contain synthetic versions of these naturally occurring compounds. Sometimes the relative amounts of several pheromone chemicals in a pesticide product determine which specific pests are controlled.

When the pesticide product releases pheromone into the air where males are looking for females, the males become confused and cannot easily locate the females. As a result, many of the females do not mate and lay eggs, and there are many fewer offspring than usual.

A list of the currently approved lepidopteran pheromones is attached

II. USE SITES, TARGET PESTS, AND APPLICATION METHODS

Use Sites: Wide variety of places where plants grow, such as agricultural and residential sites and forests.

Target pests: Specific moths whose offspring harm crops.

Application Methods: There are two major ways to disperse lepidopteran pheromones:

1) Using dispensers that slowly release the pheromone over a period of weeks. The dispensers are often attached to trees or to stakes in the field.
2) Using ground or aerial spray equipment.

III. ASSESSING RISKS TO HUMAN HEALTH

Based on low toxicity in animal testing, and expected low exposure to humans, no risk to human health is expected from the use of these pheromones. During more than 10 years of use of lepidopteran pheromones as pesticides, no adverse effects have been reported.

The safety record for lepidopteran pheromones has allowed the Agency to conclude that consumption of food containing residues of the pheromones presents no risk. In addition, these pheromones can be used experimentally without a permit on up to 250 acres, versus the 10-acre limit imposed on other pesticides.

IV. ASSESSING RISKS TO THE ENVIRONMENT

Adverse effects on non target organisms (mammals, birds, and aquatic organisms) are not expected because these pheromones are released in very small amounts to the environment and act on a select group of insects.

V. REGULATORY INFORMATION

As of November 1999, EPA had registered (licensed for sale) approximately 20 moth mating pheromones as pesticide active ingredients and more than 60 individual pesticide products containing these active ingredients.  (See below for examples).

VI. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT

Brian Steinwand (steinwand.brian@epa.gov)
Regulatory Action Leader
Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (7511P)
Phone (703) 305-7973

or

Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (7511P)
Office of Pesticide Programs
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460
Phone (703) 308-8712
Fax (703) 308-7026

Female moth mating pheromones approved as pesticides

Pests Controlled Use Sites

Chemical Name of Pheromone (OPP Chemical Code)


Note: When 2 or more pheromones are listed in a cell, various mixtures of the pheromones have been approved for use against the pest)
CAS
Number
Artichoke plume moth Artichokes (Z)-11-Hexadecenal (120001) 53939-28-9
Beet armyworm

Alfalfa

Cotton

Strawberries

Vegetables (various)

Tobacco

(Z,E) -9,12-Tetradecadienyl acetate (117203) BRAD (66kb) (PDF)

(Z)-9-Tetradecen-1-ol (119409)

31654-77-0

35153-15-2

Blackheaded fire worm

Cranberries

Fruit

(Z)-11-Tetradecenyl acetate (128980) 20711-10-8
Codling moth

Fruit

Nuts

Lauryl alcohol (001509)

Myristyl alcohol (001510)

(E,E) -8,10-Dodecadien-1-ol (129028)

(Z) -11-Tetradecenyl acetate (128980)

112-53-8

112-72-1

33956-49-9

20711-10-8

Codling moth

Fruit

Nuts

Ornamental trees / shrubs

Uncultivated agricultural areas

(E,E) -8,10-Dodecadien-1-ol (129028) 33956-49-9
Diamondback moth Manufacturing use (Z)-11-Hexadecenyl Acetate (129071) 34010-21-4
Douglas fir tussock moth Douglas fir trees (Z)-6-Heneicosen-11-one (129060) 54884-65-4
Eastern Pine Shoot Borer

Forest trees

Woodland trees

(E)-9-Dodecen-1-ol acetate (119004) 35148-19-7
Grapeberry moth

Grapes

Vine fruit

(Z)-9-Dodecenyl acetate (129004) 16974-11-1
Grapeberry moth Grapes

(Z)-11-Tetradecenyl acetate (128980)

(Z)-9-Dodecenyl acetate (129004)

20711-10-8

16974-11-1

Gypsy moth

Forest trees

Ornamental evergreen trees and shrubs

cis-7,8-Epoxy-2-methyloctadecane (114301) 29804-22-6
Hickory shuckworm

Fruits

Nuts

Uncultivated agricultural areas

(E,E) -8,10-Dodecadien-1-ol (129028) 33956-49-9
Hickory shuckworm

Fruit

Nuts

Lauryl alcohol (001509)

Myristyl alcohol (001510)

(E,E) -8,10-Dodecadien-1-ol (129028)

(Z) -11-Tetradecenyl acetate (128980)

112-53-8

112-72-1

33956-49-9

20711-10-8

Koa seed worm

Fruit

Nuts

(Z)-8-Dodecen-1-yl acetate (128906)

(E)-8-Dodecen-1-yl-acetate (128907)

(Z)-8-Dodecen-1-ol (128908)

28079-04-1

38363-29-0

40642-40-8

Leafrollers (various)

Cranberries

Fruit

(Z)-11-Tetradecenyl acetate (128980) 20711-10-8
Macadamia nut borer

Fruit

Nuts

(Z)-8-Dodecen-1-yl acetate (128906)

(E)-8-Dodecen-1-yl-acetate (128907)

(Z)-8-Dodecen-1-ol (128908)

28079-04-1

38363-29-0

40642-40-8

Navel Orangeworm Orange (Z,Z)-11,13-Hexadecadienal (000711) 71317-73-2
Obliquebanded leafroller Fruit

Lauryl alcohol (001509)

Myristyl alcohol (001510)

(E,E) -8,10-Dodecadien-1-ol (129028)

(Z) -11-Tetradecenyl acetate (128980)

112-53-8

112-72-1

33956-49-9

20711-10-8

Omnivorous leafroller

Fruit (deciduous)

Grapes

Kiwi

Nuts

(E)-11-Tetradecenyl acetate (129019)

(Z)-11-Tetradecenyl acetate (128980)

33189-72-9

20711-10-8

Oriental fruit moth

Fruit

Nuts

(Z)-8-Dodecen-1-yl acetate (128906)

(E)-8-Dodecen-1-yl-acetate (128907)

(Z)-8-Dodecen-1-ol (128908)

28079-04-1

38363-29-0

40642-40-8

Oriental fruit moth

Fruit

Nuts

(E)-5-Decenyl acetate (117703)

(E)-5-Decen-1-ol (078038)

(Z)-8-Dodecen-1-yl acetate (128906)

(E)-8-Dodecen-1-yl-acetate (128907)

(Z)-8-Dodecen-1-ol (128908)

38421-90-8

56578-18-8

28079-04-1

38363-29-0

40642-40-8

Pandemis leafroller Fruit

Lauryl alcohol (001509)

Myristyl alcohol (001510)

(E,E) -8,10-Dodecadien-1-ol (129028)

(Z) -11-Tetradecenyl acetate (128980)

112-53-8

112-72-1

33956-49-9

20711-10-8

Peach twig borer

Fruit

Nuts

(E)-5-Decenyl acetate (117703)

(E)-5-Decen-1-ol (078038)

(Z)-8-Dodecen-1-yl acetate (128906)

(E)-8-Dodecen-1-yl-acetate (128907)

(Z)-8-Dodecen-1-ol (128908)

38421-90-8

56578-18-8

28079-04-1

38363-29-0

40642-40-8

Peach twig borer

Fruit

Nuts

Agricultural crops (unspecified)

(E)-5-Decen-1-ol acetate (117703)

(E)-5-Decen-1-ol (078038)

38421-90-8

56578-18-8

Pink bollworm Cotton 7,11-Hexadecadien-1-ol acetate (114103) 50933-33-0
Pink bollworm Cotton

(Z,E)-7,11-Hexadecadien-1-yl acetate (114101)

(Z,Z)-7,11- Hexadecadien-1-yl acetate (114102)

53042-79-8

52207-99-5

Sparganothis fruitworm Cranberries (E)-11-Tetradecen-1-ol acetate (129019) 33189-72-9
Tomato pinworm

Eggplant

Tomato

Vegetables (fruiting)

(Z)-4-Tridecen-1-yl acetate (121901)

(E)-4-Tridecen-1-yl acetate (121902)

65954-19-0

72269-48-8

Pest Controlled

Use Site

Chemical Name of Pheromone (OPP Chemical Code)

CAS #

Western Poplar Clearwing moth (Paranthrene robiniae) Poplars, White Birch, Willows, Locust (E,Z)-3,13-octadecadien-1-ol
(Z,Z)-3,13-octadecadien-1-ol
66410-28-4
66410-24-0

DISCLAIMER: The information in this Pesticide Fact Sheet is a summary only.

 

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