Pesticides affect moth flight
Sub-lethal pesticide doses affect moth flight. Photo courtesy of WSU.
Sub-lethal doses of pesticides can affect how far codling moth and leafroller adults fly and how often, research suggests.
Dr. Vince Jones, entomologist at Washington State University, found in laboratory tests that the flight of both male and female codling moths were strongly affected by the pesticide Assail (acetamiprid) but not by Guthion (azinphos methyl). Obliquebanded leafroller females were strongly affected by both products, but male leafrollers by neither.
For example, in experiments where codling moth were attached to flight mills, Assail-treated codling moths made only about 30 flights during a night, compared with more than 90 for untreated moths. The total flight duration for Assail-treated moths averaged three hours, compared with more than five hours for control moths, and they flew about for a total of about three miles, less than half the distance of untreated moths.
Jones said this suggests that choosing Assail as a cover spray for codling moth could greatly reduce the potential movement of either codling moth or leafrollers. Studies of other pesticides on moth migration might be worthwhile, he said. The work was funded by the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission.