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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Hansen, James D
item Schievelbein, Sabina

Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/2002
Publication Date: 12/15/2002
Citation: Hansen, J.D., Schievelbein, S. 2002. Apple sampling in packing houses supports the systems approach for quarantine control of codling moth. Southwestern Entomologist. 3/4:27.

Interpretive Summary: Japan requires that apples from the United States be fumigated with methyl bromide to control the codling moth, a quarantine pest. However, future application of methyl bromide is uncertain because of international agreements limiting and discontinuing its use. Yet, "the systems approach" allows fruits to be exported to other countries without methyl bromide fumigation while maintaining quarantine security. This procedure involves: use of insect pest management in the orchard; reduction in the incidence of infestation at harvest and upon arrival at the packing house; removal of infested fruits by postharvest grading, sorting, and packing; pest mortality from prepacking storage; and inspection and certification of packed fruits for export. Previous studies examining efficacy of culling and sorting in packing houses indicated the incidence of codling moth was extremely low. However, pest field control, types of cultivars grown, and computerization in commerical packing operations have all progressed since those studies were conducted. Hence, the application of the systems approach would be advanced by a comprehensive survey of current packing house operations. Researchers at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory in Wapato, WA. examined the occurence of codling moth infested fruits among 28,000 apples entering six packing houses in the Pacific Northwest and evaluated the efficiency of culling and sorting. We found only one live codling moth before sorting and none in the final pack. Also, among 12,500 fruit in the final pack, only one showed slight codling moth damage. Furthermore, mathematical models for predicting codling moth infestation in exported lots of fruit could not be used because no infested fruits were found in the final pack. Thus, these observations suggest that incidence of codling moth in packed apples is negligible and that the systems approach significantly contributes to quarantine security for fruits exported to Japan.

Technical Abstract: Sorting efficacy was studied in 17 grower lots at six packing houses from the beginning of the packing line to the final pack. The number of fruits examined include 28,000 before sorting, 14,376 from the cull bin, and 12,539 in the final pack. Also, an additional 10% of these totals were examined using a 30x microscope. In the larger survey, only one live codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.)(Lepidoptera: Tortricidae, larva was found among the unsorted fruits, 12 live codling moth larvae were found in the culls, and none were found in the final pack. Codling moth damage was found in about 0.1% of the pre-sort, 1.9% in the culls, and only one fruit in the final pack. In the microscopic examinations, only one dead codling moth larvae was found among the unsorted fruits, four dead codling moth larvae were found in the culls, and none were found in the final pack. The most prevalent arthropod collected was codling moth, followed by spiders. Microscopic examination increased efficacy of detecting codling moth from 0.01% to 0.03% in the presort, but only from 0.17% to 0.26% in the culls. Observations of apparent codling moth damage increased from 0.12% in the large survey to 0.98% in the microscope examination, but declined with the culls from 1.90% to 1.77%, respectively. Overall, observations of codling moth damage in the same lots were similar between visual inspection of the large survey and the microscopic examination. In both the large survey and in the microscope examinations, culling efficacy was found to be not directly influenced by packing line speed.

Last Modified: 07/26/2017
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