Trial shows promise for codling moth control

A nematode that parasitises codling moth (Cydia pomonella) - a serious top-fruit pest - combined with a pheromone to disrupt its mating is showing promise in a Kent orchard trial.

Codling moth: pest for top fruit - image: David Short
Codling moth: pest for top fruit - image: David Short

BASF bio-insecticides specialist Aoife Dillon told the Rijk Zwaan/Soil Association Organic Open Days (17-18 September) that by applying the nematode-based product Nemasys C as a bark drench "you are going for the larvae after they pupate".

The proportion of fruit affected was found to have dropped from two to 0.5 per cent, a reduction of 75 per cent, said Dillon.

"Combined with pheromones that disrupt mating, we are catching virtually no moths," she added. "With two controls you are hedging your bets. The pheromones don't work in the rain but the nematodes like it wet, so something's having an effect whatever the weather. These trials are ongoing - we don't have formal results yet."

Explaining the context for the research, she said: "Integrated pest management (IPM) solutions for codling moth was something Becker Underwood was developing when BASF took it over. IPM is becoming a legal obligation and forecasting is a key component of that. The EU is getting more stringent and the Sustainable Use Directive will change the landscape in which we operate."


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