Improvement of pest control in stone fruits within an areawide strategy
Stone fruit trees are affected by different pests that belong to different orders, being Grapholita molesta towards which most of the control interventions in these crops are directed. Management entirely based on insecticides has shown that it is not always effective. The need to use more specific active ingredients requires to be more aware of the biology of the pests that we want to control, especially when they have very narrow application windows to be effective and the products need to be as well less toxic for non-target and beneficial species. The possibility of controlling insects using their own biology opens doors to a new type of highly specific control with minimal environmental impact, as is the case of sexual pheromones. These compounds can be used under different modalities: monitoring, sexual confusion, mass trapping or "attract and kill". When pheromone population management is carried out over large areas, the technique expresses its full potential and its benefits are more stable and durable over time. In Uruguay, this type of management has been formally implemented since 2012 with successful results. The next step for an improvement in monitoring and control would be the incorporation of kairomones into this equation, which would substantially increase its efficiency.
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