By Clint Thompson
Mating disruption is an effective treatment for peach tree borers and lesser peachtree borers. One application in early March can last all season for peach producers.
However, the management tactic may only be effective if nearby peach growers are implementing the tactic as well.
Brett Blaauw, assistant professor at the University of Georgia (UGA) College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, discussed the management option during the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Georgia.
“That’s just an unfortunate problem with mating disruption in general. It doesn’t kill anything. It only stops males from finding females,” Blaauw said. “If there are females in another orchard where there is no pheromone, those males can fly over there and mate. That female, if she wants, can then fly into that disrupted orchard and lay eggs.
“Usually, in the data, it’s when they’re right next to each other and there’s a little spill over effect. They don’t move throughout the other orchard, but you’re still going to have problems.”
Blaauw was unsure how far away an orchard needed to be from one not implementing mating disruption. He estimated several hundred meters to a kilometer would be ideal.
Farmers have had to continue mating disruption as an alternative following the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to cancel the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos on all food products.