Twenty-five Years of Research Experience with the Sterile Insect Technique and Area-Wide Management of Codling Moth, Cydia pomonella (L.), in Canada

Citation

Thistlewood, H.M.A. and Judd, G.J.R. 2019. Twenty-five Years of Research Experience with the Sterile Insect Technique and Area-Wide Management of Codling Moth, Cydia pomonella (L.), in Canada. Insects 10(9): 292. doi:10.3390/insects10090292

Plain language summary

Codling moth is the key insect pest of apples and pears globally. A large project has used sterile insect technique, a form of population birth control, and other practices, for codling moth control in British Columbia, Canada, for 25 years. This area-wide programme has serviced a large area (3395-7331 hectares per year) of orchards and nearby urban, public, or First Nations lands. The project is the first to employ such methods for codling moth, and the longest-running, anywhere in the world. It was developed from basic research and applied trials from the 1960s onwards. Many biological challenges were overcome, and lessons learnt, in transferring from small- to large-scale applications of mass rearing and the sterile insect technique, with particular regard to moths (Lepidoptera). Research has been essential in identifying, if not resolving, problems that threaten the success of any such programme. The major challenges encountered, and the resulting research, are reviewed, as well as future directions. Advice is given for using these methods as a part of any area-wide management programme for codling moth.

Abstract

The advent of novel genetic methods has led to renewed interest in the sterile insect technique (SIT) for management of insect pests, owing to applications in mass rearing and in the production of sterile offspring without use of irradiation. An area-wide management programme for codling moth, Cydia pomonella, has employed the SIT and other management practices over a large area (3395 to 7331 ha) of orchards and neighbouring urban, public, or First Nations lands in British Columbia, Canada, for 25 years. This project is the first to employ the SIT for C. pomonella, and the longest-running application of area-wide techniques for its control, anywhere. It was derived from basic research and applied trials from the 1960s onwards. Many biological challenges were overcome, and lessons learnt, in transferring from small- to large-scale applications of mass rearing and the SIT, with particular regard to Lepidoptera. Research has proven essential to identifying, if not resolving, issues that threaten the implementation and success of any such programme. The major challenges encountered, and the resulting research, are reviewed, as well as future directions. Recommendations are given for application of the SIT as part of any area-wide management programme for C. pomonella.

Publication date

2019-09-10