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19. Away With Resilient Pests!

Wendell RoelofsWendell L. Roelofs, Entomology, Cornell Geneva Campus, and research collaborators isolated, characterized, and synthesized the sex pheromone of the female German cockroach, Blattella germanica. This work becomes a new tool for controlling and managing one of the world’s most serious food and residential pests. The scientists determined the chemical’s molecular structure by locating the pheromone-producing cells in the female, isolating minute amounts of an unstable compound, and then devising an ingenious gas chromatograph collection technique for obtaining pure samples for nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. The pheromone, gentisyl quinone isovalerate, or blattellaquinone, has proven to be a highly effective lure in field trapping tests. Several companies are interested in using the blatellaquinone pheromone in monitoring traps to lure these resilient, difficult-to-control pests.

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