Confusion method

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The confusion method or mating disorder (also known as the confusion method, the confusion method or the confusion technique , English: mating disruption or sexual confusion ) is a method for combating insect pests in agriculture without endangering beneficial insects . One uses the behavior of some insects when mating. The females exude pheromones to attract males. If a higher mass concentration of artificially produced pheromones is applied to a field , the males become disoriented and can no longer find the female . This prevents this pest from multiplying . The confusion method is very species specific as each species uses its own pheromones or mixtures of them.

The term mating disorder does not yet contain a concept about the mechanism of action of the pheromones in this application. The German terms confusion technique, confusion method or confusion process imply one of many possible mechanisms of action that are currently being researched in science . The term mating disorder does not have this shortcoming.


Double ampoule with the pheromone RAK / ( Z ) -9-dodecenyl acetate in viticulture

The pheromones are applied in special dispensers . These are often liquid-filled, brown or white plastic ampoules that are attached to the fields or cultivated areas on plants in the shade . Another form are so-called spaghetti dispensers, in which the pheromones are incorporated into the plastic itself and which are tied to the plants like a piece of wire . A spray method is also being experimented with, in which the pheromone is contained in small plastic balls.

The use of pheromones only leads to success if the farmers of several cultivated areas join forces and agree to use this pest control method. In addition, the exact application date must be coordinated with the first flight of the male moths. It is usually determined by the official service using the temperature sum method. The aim of all types of application is to keep the pheromone concentration high enough in the field for several weeks without applying too much pheromone. The pheromone concentration in the air is determined, for example, by means of an electroantennogram .


In Germany this method has been used in viticulture since 1985 to combat grape moth .

The process is considered ecological , as the amount of chemical insecticides can be reduced through the use of pheromones . A positive side effect is the promotion of the population dynamics of the beneficial insects.

In the meantime, 80% of the area under vines in Württemberg and 70% of the area under vines in Baden are protected from being eaten by grape moths using the confusion method. The method is also used successfully in other wine-growing regions .

Areas of application for the confusion method include:


The confusion method is not to be confused with the attractant trap as used in bark beetles . These traps are covered with glue and attract insects with pheromones.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. BASF : Safety data sheet RAK 1 New (May 11, 2005) ( Memento of the original of September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF). @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. BASF: Simply tempting - biotechnical pest control with single-string and crossed grape buds . (PDF) ( Memento of September 26, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), January 16, 2003.
  3. Sieghard Spies, Georg Hill: The Leap into the Unknown: Pheromone Confusion 2003 . (PDF; 23 kB)