Tree Fruit Insect Pests - Spring Monitoring and Management

It cannot be overstated how important it is to aggressively monitor all insect pests in each orchard, especially with the additional pressure coming from brown marmorated stink bug.
Tree Fruit Insect Pests - Spring Monitoring and Management - Articles

Updated: October 25, 2017

Tree Fruit Insect Pests - Spring Monitoring and Management

Delta trap for monitoring insect pests.

Biofix

Colder weather influences the general development of insect pests. Establishing a correct biofix, used as the starting point for the insect developmental models, is crucial later during the season for the timing of all management activities.

Protection of Pollinators - No Insecticide Applications Needed until Petal Fall

In order to maximize the protection of wild pollinators and honey bees, we continue to recommend avoidance of insecticide applications before the bloom. Most insects present in the orchard before bloom can also be effectively managed by the insecticide application(s) at the petal fall timing, which remains one of the most important treatments, setting the tone for the rest of the season. The insect pest complex present in orchards around bloom time such as obliquebanded leafroller, European apple sawfly, rosy apple aphid, Oriental fruit moth or plum curculio can be controlled at and after petal fall. Due to valid concerns with the possible pesticide direct and sub-lethal effects on the population of honey bees and other native pollinators, it is strongly recommended that growers refrain from using insecticides until bees are completely removed from orchards.

Importance of Orchard Monitoring

It cannot be overstated how important it is to aggressively monitor all insect pests in each orchard, especially with the additional pressure coming from brown marmorated stink bug. Traps with brown marmorated stink bug attractants and sex pheromone traps for at least four main lepidopteran pests: codling moth, Oriental fruit moth, tufted apple bud moth and obliquebanded leafroller should be placed in each part of the orchard managed individually. Correctly identified and monitored insect pests can be controlled much more effectively and at a much lower overall cost if the information from insect traps is used to decide "if" and "when" management activities are necessary.

Controlling Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth with Mating Disruption

If mating disruption products will be used for the control of codling moth, the pheromone dispensers should be placed in orchards in the beginning of May, but no later than during the early bloom stage on apples (i.e., before codling moth biofix). Although, the best timing for placing Oriental fruit moth mating disruption products is also before the Oriental fruit moth biofix, even delayed placement of Oriental fruit moth mating disruption products should be very effective and reduce seasonal pressure from this pest during later Oriental fruit moth generations.

Secret to Good Scale Control is Good Coverage

San Jose scale overwinters as immature blackcaps on the trunks and scaffolds of the tree. The nymphs remain dormant under their waxy covering until the sap begins to flow in the spring, and they continue to feed until bloom. Scales are especially difficult to control on large trees with rough bark. Similarly to early season mite control, the secret to good scale control is good coverage. Growers should use a minimum of 100 gallons per acre (GPA) or more depending on the size of their trees.

For commercial growers

Before chemical products are applied, be sure to be in compliance by obtaining the current usage regulations and examining the product label. Product information can be easily obtained from Crop Data Management Systems (CDMS). Also refer to the Penn State Tree Fruit Production Guide .

Authors

Insect plant interactions Integrated pest management Biological control Tree fruit insect pests Insects rearing Laboratory and field bioassays Invasive insect pests Pesticide resistance

More by Grzegorz (Greg) Krawczyk, Ph.D.