The Science behind Aggregation Pheromones

Aggregation, or “clustering,” pheromones cause animals to group together. Aggregation pheromones are particularly widespread in the insect world. Bark beetles, for instance, use a very efficient pheromone communication system when attacking and colonizing a tree.

The first beetle invader to land on a suitable tree releases an aggregation pheromone. This chemical message of invitation spreads quickly, attracting bark beetles of the same species from all directions. In time, thousands of these beetles will alight on the tree and bore through the bark and into the wood. Here they begin constructing the maze of tunnels in which they will live and reproduce.

Pheromones For Population Control

 Some pheromones stimulate animals to increase the distance between themselves and other members of their species. These are called dispersal, or “spacing,” pheromones. The female apple maggot fly uses a dispersal pheromone that makes it possible for her offspring to have plenty of food to eat as they develop. Apple maggot flies lay their eggs in fruits such as apples, cherries, and crabapples.

After depositing an egg, a female will walk across the surface of the fruit, marking it with dispersal pheromone. If another female apple maggot fly lands on the same fruit, she will respond to this. After laying an egg in an apple, a female apple maggot fly deposits dispersal pheromones that keep other egg-laying females away from the fruit. When the egg hatches, the maggot will have its own food supply.

Alarm Pheromones

Alarm pheromones stimulate a wide range of defensive behaviors, from escaping a source of danger to attacking an unwelcome intruder or predator. Because the chemicals that act as alarm pheromones tend to evaporate into the air very rapidly, the message of alarm can be communicated to other individuals with great speed.

Alarm pheromones released by a threatened or injured animal often cause other animals of the same species to flee. Some kinds of small fish tend to swim together in groups called schools. If one fish is attacked by a predator, it immediately releases an alarm pheromone into the water. This triggers an escape response. The other fish in the school may dart for cover, plummetto the bottom, or swim right at the water’s surface in an effort to get away from the source of danger.

Human Pheromones

Pheromones in humans are not the same as in animals. This is because humans are more intelligent creatures and rely on other senses to attract a mate. However, we detect pheromones just like mammals through our vomeronasal organ (VNO). The signals are sent to the brain for processing and ultimatley affect our emotions and influence who we find attractive. Learn more at

Some of the most common additives to pheromone colognes include androstenone, androsterone, and androstenol. Pheromone perfumes will usually contain copulins in both scented and unscented formulas. Learn more at