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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Biorational Management of Insect Pests of Temperate Tree Fruits

Location: Fruit and Vegetable Insect Research

Title: Organic codling moth management in Washington state and the world

Author
item Knight, Alan

Submitted to: Washington State Horticulture Association Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 20, 2011
Publication Date: December 31, 2011
Citation: Knight, A.L. 2011. Organic codling moth management in Washington state and the world. Washington State Horticulture Association Proceedings. pp 131-135.

Interpretive Summary: Organic apple and pear growers in Washington State needeffective pest management practices. Successful organic growers have been those that have adopted tactics which can minimize insect pest damage and maximize the contribution of biological control of a number of secondary pests. Entomologists at the USDA, ARS Research Laboratory in Wapato, WA have in developed innovative tactics to aid organic growers manage a set of insect pests. This paper reviews these available tools that can be subdivided into cultural, chemical, and behavior modifying approaches. In particular, the Wapato Laboratory has refined the use of sex pheromones and plant volatiles to both better monitor and manage key pests, such as codling moth. Integration of management practices for codling moth with enhanced reliance on biological control has allowed organic growers to produce quality fruit with lower input costs.

Technical Abstract: Apple and pear growers in Washington State are important producers of organic fruit in the international marketplace. Continued production of quality organic fruit requires effective pest management practices. Successful organic growers have been those that have adopted tactics which can minimize pest damage and maximize the contribution of biological control of a number of secondary pests. Obviously, codling moth as the key direct pest of pome fruit accounts for a significant portion of organic grower’s pest management program. This paper reviews the available tools that organic growers can employ to control this pest. Tactics are available to control overwintering larvae, adults, eggs and fruit-feeding larvae and include physical, chemical, and behavioral tactics. Sex pheromones are widely used to disrupt mating. Larvae are controlled with seasonal sprays of virus, oil, and a spinosyn insecticide. Monitoring the seasonal density of codling moth is critical to formulate an effective program. A precision program has been developed that utilizes action thresholds to target hot-spots within orchards and save growers money. Organic growers must consider the integration of tactics both for codling moth and their potential impacts on biological control agents of a suite of secondary pests.

Last Modified: 10/26/2014
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