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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
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Mating disruption of the Pink Bollworm (PBW)

Recognize the problem

The Pink Bollworm is the major cause of yield losses of cotton in Barbados. High yield losses occur in cotton when PBW larvae emerge from eggs and quickly eat their way into squares or bolls causing major economic damage. Bolls 10-24 days old are most susceptible to attack.


The PBW develops inside the boll so it is difficult to achieve adequate control using chemicals. PB-Rope L is a twisted tie which releases the same scent that female bollworms release to attract males. This scent confuses the male adults preventing them from finding and mating with the female adults. This reduces the number of eggs laid which reduces the population of the PBW resulting in less damage to the crop. The use of PB-Rope L in addition to the regular plant protection schedule has been found to be economically viable as a means of managing PBW.


  • PB-Rope L should be used at 100-200 ropes/acre. Higher rates should be used if the pheromone trap counts are consistently above the economic threshold of 7 adults per day.
  • Ropes should be twisted securely around the main stem near the bottom of the plant or the stakes, avoiding contact with the soil and placed uniformly within the treated field.  Ropes twisted too tightly can constrict stem growth.
  • Apply immediately prior to moth emergence in the field or when the cotton is at pin square stage.
  • Ropes should be replaced after about 3.5 months with fresh ones as they will have run out of pheromone but the pest will still be active.
  • The active ingredients of this product are hazardous to humans and domestic animals and care should be taken while handling (use gloves).
Scientific name(s) > Pectinophora gossypiella

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: many countries where this pest or problem is present

Authors: Tony D. Rawlins
Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management
tel: 246 434-5132 email:
Edited by
Created in Barbados October 2012