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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #186162


item Lacey, Lawrence
item Unruh, Thomas

Submitted to: Vedalia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/14/2005
Publication Date: 1/22/2007
Citation: Lacey, L.A., Unruh, T.R. 2007. Biological control of codling moth (cydia pomonella, tortricidae: lepidoptera) and its role in integrated pest management, with emphasis on entomopathogens. Vedalia 12:33-60.

Interpretive Summary: Codling moth is the most serious insect pest of apple in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The traditional method for controlling this pest is through the routine application of broad spectrum insecticides. Options for codling moth control for organic growers has been limited to oils, trapping, mating disruption, manual removal of infested fruit and the like. A number of natural enemies including insect-specific pathogens, parasitic wasps and predators, have been tested or developed as biological control agents that can be used as alternatives to chemical insecticides for the control of codling moth. Researchers at the USDA-ARS, Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory have conducting studies to develop and evaluate a variety of biological control agents of codling moth. They review the literature on the research conducted in the United States and elsewhere and discuss how these agents could be integrated with other control methods. The successful integration of biological control agents into apple pest management will complement other soft technologies, including mating disruption with synthetic pheromones, cultural practices and other reduced risk pesticides.

Technical Abstract: Codling moth, Cydia pomonella, is a worldwide pest of apple and pear. Traditional control methods have been based predominantly on broad spectrum insecticides. Concerns over the safety, environmental impact, and sustainability of synthetic pesticides have stimulated development and use of softer control methods within the integrated pest management (IPM) strategy. Natural enemies (entomopathogens, predators and parasitoids) and their use as biological control agents play key roles in IPM. In this review we summarize the literature on biological control of codling moth and discuss its integration with other control options in orchard IPM. A variety of entomopathogens have been reported from codling moth, but only the codling moth granulovirus (CpGV) and entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) have been developed as microbial control agents. CpGV is highly virulent and selective for neonate codling moth larvae, but may require frequent reapplication due to solar inactivation, especially when population densities are high. The EPNs Steinernema feltiae and S. carpocapsae have good potential for control of overwintering cocooned larvae when temperatures are above 10 and 15°C, respectively and adequate moisture is maintained in the orchard for several hours after EPN application. Parasitism by Mastrus ridibundus (Ichneumonidae) in some Washington State orchards can exceed 40% in the year following releases which can further supplement parasitism by Ascogaster quadradentata (Braconidae) that sporadically approaches 25%. Together these parasitoids and many predators could provide significant biological control of codling moth when broad spectrum pesticides are minimized.