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Project overview (Draft)

Pests are one of the major problems in agriculture because their effect cause huge losses in this sector. Since pest control techniques relying on the use of pesticides are becoming less and less popular, because of the environmental damages they can cause, treatment with pheromones are gaining ground among pest management. Nowadays insect pheromones are chemically synthesised, which happens to be an expensive and complex process because of manufacturing costs and purification steps. In pursuit this line of thinking, our main efforts are aimed at avoiding the damage produced by pests in crops, specifically moths, which cause significant damage in crops all around the world. Moths lay eggs on the crops after mating, then the larvae eat the crops causing considerable damage. Our objective is to find an alternative method of pest control using pheromones.

Male moths find the females by tracing the pheromones they release into the air. For the attraction to be effective, female of a certain species must release the exact proportion of pheromone components. However, the strategy to be used is not based in attraction but in confusion. When the major pheromone component concentration in the environment reaches high levels, males are not able to find the females. This strategy is called mate disruption.