An Old Pest Reemerges in Organic Orchards

Lanham, MD; September 28, 2012 -- The apple flea weevil, a sporadic insect pest in the early 1900s, has reemerged as a severe pest in organic apple orchards in Michigan, where outbreak population levels have been observed since 2008, and damage has resulted in up to 90% losses for apple growers.

According to the authors of "The Reemergence of an Old Pest, Orchestes pallicornis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)," an open-access article appearing in the lastest issue of the Journal of Integrated Pest Management, the weevil can be managed by broad-spectrum insecticides used in conventional agriculture, but there are currently no proven management options for use in organic production. And, as broad-spectrum materials are replaced by reduced-risk compounds, it is possible that the apple flea weevil will increasingly become an important pest in apple production.

The apple flea weevil is a small, 2-3 millimeter black weevil with enlarged high legs for jumping. Adults feed on buds and leaves, and the larvae are leaf miners.

In the article, the authors discuss the apple flea weevil's biology and the damage it does to plants, as well as methods for growers to monitor and manage them.

Click here for the full article.

The Journal of Integrated Pest Management is an open-access, peer-reviewed, extension journal covering the field of integrated pest management. The intended readership for the journal is any professional who is engaged in any aspect of integrated pest management, including, but not limited to, crop producers, individuals working in crop protection, retailers, manufacturers and suppliers of pest management products, educators, and pest control operators.

JIPM is published by the Entomological Society of America (ESA), the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has more than 6,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Members are students, researchers, teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, and hobbyists. For more information, please visit http://www.entsoc.org.

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