Codling Moths:

An Apple a Day too Many

 

 

Codling Moth Caterpillar
Courtesy of Wikipedia

The first apple and pear trees were planted in New Zealand by the missionary Samuel Marsden in the early 19th century and one of the original pear trees was still growing in 2008. I don’t know of many places that could claim a pear tree of that age. New Zealand recognized the value of the fruit trees early on and first exported apples to Chile in 1888. In the 1890’s New Zealand was exporting apples to the United Kingdom.

By 1915 land was being sold to speculators who might try their hand at the business of growing and exporting fruit. Today New Zealand produces about 5% of the global apple market. Codling moths cost growers $8 to $12 million per year in control, which translates to $6.6 to $9.93 million US dollars. The codling moths are caterpillars that bore into the apples and pears, eating the fruit inside. Codling moths are the worst threat to apples and pears worldwide, but none more so than in New Zealand. They haven’t found a successful and economic means of control yet.

Last week an Asian wasp, “Mastrus Waspin” was released into the Hawke’s Bay area of New Zealand; 1000 of them will take on the codling moth population. The Mastrus is a parasitoid wasp and the females will lay their eggs on the coddling moth larvae. When the eggs hatch, the wasp larvae will feed on the moth larvae and then emerge as adults. The new adults will seek moth larvae and continue the cycle.

The use of the Asian Mastrus Waspin was approved in June of this year. If the wasps can survive in New Zealand and prosper as they have in the US and other countries then the codling moth could cease to be such a costly pest.

Biological pest control is not an exact science, but it has come a long way since the first attempts many years ago. Integrated pest control involves a variety of methods, biological, chemical and organic treatments are all used along with pairing the right methods together to produce the greatest results.

Termite control in Chandler is committed to bringing the best integrated control to homeowners in Arizona. Research is being carried out in Universities around the world to find the right biological agent to fight termites and other household pests in hopes that one day we won’t need chemical treatments anymore. In the meantime, your licensed professionals offer green alternatives to the traditional chemical treatments. Remember that termites don’t sleep in the winter time so get your free termite inspection now, and have a happy harvest season.

 

 

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