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Biobased Pest Management

Controlling Codling Moth in Apple and Pear Orchards

Apples are an important crop to the western United States. The codling moth is a serious pest that costs millions of dollars to control through the use of pesticides every year. A team led by Jay Brunner of Washington State University has successfully developed a multi-tactic pheromone-based system to control codling moth in apples and pear orchards in Washington, Oregon, and California.

An area-wide management project using pheromones to disrupt mating of codling moth was used as a nontoxic control method. As a result, organophosphate insecticide use was reduced by 75 percent between 1995 and 1999. An integral feature of the project included educational programs to raise awareness of growers about how this alternative control method would protect the environment, enhance farm worker safety, and also be a cost-effective management strategy.

 

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