ANN ARBOR, MI — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has registered the first vertebrate pheromone biopesticide for use against the vampiric sea lamprey after decades of research and development.
The male mating pheromone, 3kPZS, will be used "like an alluring perfume" to fool horny adult female lamprey into swimming upriver to spawn in lake tributaries. The scent will be dumped in easy spots to capture and kill the eel-like fish.
Registration of the pheromone opens the door for use of the scent in control programs. The Great Lakes Fishery Commission, in charge of lamprey control on the lakes, made the announcement Monday, Jan. 4.
"With a large-scale field trial, we demonstrated that pheromone baits can increase trapping efficiencies by up to 53 percent and baited traps can capture up to two times the sea lampreys that unbaited traps can," said Michigan State University professor Weiming Li.