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cartoon half apple, control tactics


Techniques that control insects by reducing their reproduction potential are known as autocidal control. Key to IPM tactics are the use of mating disruption and sterile insect release.

Mating Disruption

Mating disruption is a standard control for codling moth applied to roughly 90% of apple acres in Washington. Pheromones applied in orchards work to disrupt or delay the ability of male codling moth to locate and mate with females, resulting in a reduction of viable offspring. The term ‘mating disruption’ is often associated with this control technique. Pheromone mating disruption has been shown to significantly reduce the amount of insecticides required to control codling moth in apple orchards.

There are several different kinds of dispensers utilized to deliver codling moth pheromone in orchards. For many years the hand-applied dispensers were the most common pheromone delivery system. However, aerosol emitter technologies have become more common. Pheromone dispensers should be placed in the orchard prior to the first moth flight in spring. The number of dispensers applied per area depends on the type of product used. Placement of dispensers should be in the upper third of the tree canopy.

by Jay Brunner, originally published 1993, revised 2018

Mating Disruption 30 Years On: What Have We Learned and What Still Needs to Be Done

Essential to an IPM program is understanding the different pheromone mating disruption techniques and their unique strengths and weaknesses. In this presentation, Don Thomson discusses the differences between Oriental Fruit Moth and Codling Moth (CM) mating disruption. Don discusses why trap counts estimating CM populations is critical in pheromone dispenser placement. Lastly, he explains the science and proper use of aerosol emitters.

Sterile Insect Release Abroad

Sterile Insect Release (SIR) programs have been used successfully under an areawide concept in other countries with different models for deployment.

New Zealand

New Zealand has successfully implemented Sterile Insect Release programs. The industry values IPM tactics and uses sterile insects as another integral tool. Principal Scientist, Jim Walker, discusses the New Zealand apple industry and the sterile insect program.


Canada has a successful Sterile Insect Release (SIR) program that was government funded. SIR is area-wide which has disrupts mating of codling moths and allows for increased control. Melissa Tesche, General Manager of the SIR program, describes the program implementation and funding in this presentation.

Sterile Insect Release in PNW

Codling Moth Management Tools

Sterile Insect Release Two Year Project Update
Update of a project conducted by Betsy Beers by Tianna DuPont January 2020

Apple IPM Reminders

Releasing research on sterile insect release
by Matt Milkovich at Good Fruit Grower

Other Resources

Codling Moth Mating Disruption Considerations
Don Thomson and Glenn Thayer, April 1, 2021

Codling Moth Control: The Math on Mating Disruption
by Jared Johnson, Kate Prengaman, TJ Mullinax at Good Fruit Grower



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YOU ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO FOLLOW THE LABEL. It is a legal document. Always read the label before using any pesticide. You, the grower, are responsible for safe pesticide use. Trade (brand) names are provided for your reference only. No discrimination is intended, and other pesticides with the same active ingredient may be suitable. No endorsement is implied.



Codling Moth Management Site Map


Washington State University