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Entomology

  • Evaluating experimental and registered insecticides/acaricides for the control of the major pests attacking tree fruits, and tolerance by their natural enemies.
  • Describing the gene flow between resistant and susceptible tufted apple bud moth populations in an orchard ecosystem, studying the fitness differences between susceptible and insecticide-resistant populations.
  • Continuing with long-term laboratory and orchard studies to investigate the potential of the tufted apple bud moth and the obliquebanded leafroller to develop resistance to various insect-growth-regulator products and whether these two pest species are cross-resistant to the organophosphate insecticides.
  • Assessing the baseline susceptibility of Oriental fruit moth pest populations from Pennsylvania to commonly used insecticides and to develop an egg hatch model for accurate timing of control measures.
  • Determining the effectiveness of various pheromone-mating-disruption dispenser systems (i.e., hand-applied, sprayable formulations, microsprayers, and "puffers") for disrupting the mating of various moth pests of tree fruits.
  • Management strategies are needed to minimize the development of pesticide resistance in pests and pathogens and to promote resistance in natural enemies of pests.
  • Evaluation of multispecies pheromone blends for disrupting the communication of various moth pests of fruits via a single-release mechanism.
  • Pesticides with different modes of action that are highly effective, environmentally safe, and practical for use in commercial orchards will be evaluated.
  • Investigate the potential to use Global Positioning System (GPS) technology in site-specific pest and natural enemy sampling, fertilizing, plant spacing, and yield monitoring.