When we visited Château Pichon-Baron, grand cru classé in Pauillac, recently we saw a small canister in the vineyard that we have never seen before. This canister is called CheckMate Puffer and is a new way of distribute pheromones that protect against the grape worm with the method with the curious name “sexual confusion”. The grape worm is the larva of two types of moth, cochylis and eudemis, and can cause serious damage in the vineyard.
When you use sexual confusion the most common method is to place small brown capsules in the vineyard, about 500 per hectare. It is a time-consuming operation. One big advantage with the Checkmate Puffer is that you only need a maximum of 4 canisters per hectare. The canister does not spray pheromones continuously. In the canister there is a timer and the spraying takes place in the evening and at night when the moths are out flying.
As with the more common small capsules, you need to use it on at least 5 hectares of contiguous vineyards for the Puffer to be effective.
The traditional type of capsule used for sexual confusion:
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