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False Codling Moth

Programme Coordinator:

Dr. Sean Moore

Collaborating Researchers:

Dr. Martin Gilbert, Wayne Kirkman, Prof. Martin Hill, Prof. Caroline Knox, Prof. Gill Dealtry

Research Conducted: 

False codling moth causes losses in the orchard due to fruit drop but is also a phytosanitary pest. Stringent cold sterilisation measures are required for export of citrus to certain markets. Over the years, various means of controlling this pest have been developed including the use of chitin synthesis inhibitors and mating disruptants. Research on not only improving mating disruption, but also developing a novel mode of this technology is ongoing.  More recently, much research focus has been on the development of effective biological control alternatives, such as baculoviruses (both a granulovirus (Cryptogran) and a nucleopolyhedrovirus), entomopathogenic fungi, entomopathogenic nematodes and the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). Cryptogran is now being used commercially and sold by River Bioscience, and SIT is being applied commercially by Xsit on an area-wide basis in the Eastern and Western Cape provinces.  However, research on further improvement of these technologies is ongoing. Research is also being conducted on development of novel and improved postharvest disinfestation and detection technologies, such as cold and heat treatments, GRAS fumigation, combinations of these, X-ray and volatile detection and sniffer dogs. A phytosanitary systems approach is also under development. Fundamental research to better understand the biology and ecology of the pest, and implications for its management, are not being neglected.