A predator of the horticultural pest, codling moth, could soon be available in Australia.December 11, 2012 4:06am
Apple and pear growers are excited by the prospect of an exotic predatory wasp being used to control codling moth — as long as it does not turn into the ‘‘cane toad of the insect world’’.
The codling moth is the most destructive pest affecting the global apple and pear industry.
Department of Primary Industries invertebrate sciences principal research scientist David Williams said Mastrus wasp, a natural predator of codling moth, was discovered in Kazakhstan and had been successfully used in California and Argentina to control codling moths.
Mr Williams said DPI had applied to the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service and other bodies to be able to release the small wasp.
DPI now has specimens of the wasp in quarantine, where tests are being done to find out if it specifically attacks codling moths and whether it poses any problems for native insects.
‘‘So it doesn’t become the cane toad of the insect world,’’ the Tatura-based scientist said.
Ardmona orchardist Andrew Plunkett said the industry relied on government bodies to ensure the Mastrus wasp did not become ‘‘another cane toad or fox’’.
Mr Plunkett said if the predatory insect passed the quarantine checks, it would be a welcome tool to help control codling moth.
‘‘Just because it worked in the US, doesn’t mean it will work here,’’ Mr Plunkett said.
Codling moths are one of the top two destructive pests at his family’s 200
Mr Plunkett, who is also chairman of Fruit Growers Victoria, said having another control option was important because orchardists were vulnerable if they only had one option.
‘‘It would be nice to have another tool in the toolbox.’’
Mr Plunkett said orchardists were trying to reduce chemical use.
‘‘Society expects cleaner and cleaner fruit,’’ he said.
Plunkett Orchards uses as many integrated pest management strategies as possible.
‘‘We try to keep as many natural predator insects as we can,’’ Mr Plunkett said.
He said biological controls were already being used in the fruit growing industry and sometimes they were more effective in some regions and on some properties than others.
Mr Williams said if DPI received approval, as New Zealand had, preliminary work would be done in Victoria and then would spread to Australia’s other pome fruit growing areas.
He said the Mastrus wasp stung the codling moth caterpillar to anaesthetise it while it was hibernating under bark. The wasp then laid eggs on top of the caterpillar, and when the larvae hatched they fed on the caterpillar.
‘‘Codling moths can wipe out a whole crop if people do not intervene,’’ Mr Williams said.
Elements of the vision for revitalising the Shepparton central business district are falling into place.
The Tungamah Football Netball Club has completed a fairytale season to clinch the Picola and District Football Netball League South East Premiership with an emphatic 106 point win over the Katamatite Tigers at Tungamah.
Billed as ‘Fabulous Flowers and Fine Food’, Tatura’s Anglican Church Parish had a successful fundraiser on Thursday, September 4.
Member for Swan Hill Peter Walsh will announce upgrades to Bendigo to Echuca rail line, as well as a further upgrade to the Deniliquin line for rice freight, during celebrations at Echuca Railway station tomorrow.
David and Katrina Christie’s Nanneella dairy farm is now home to one of the biggest sheds in the district, a 160m by 37m monster.
Don’t write Ky off yet, says coach ahead of preliminary final
Seymour event packs out St Mary's College on Saturday night.
People travelled from all around the region to attend an open day at the Berrigan Rural Fire Service on Saturday.
Mia Mia Cricket Club is about to field its first cricket team since 2001
Cobram Mens Shed chips away at the issue of mental health but calls for more space.
Breakout seasons from Deni Rovers Jamie Thorpe and Nick Hay have seen the pair rewarded with respective best and fairest titles.
Now the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is enshrined in law, many opponents of the controversial plan to return irrigation water to the environment appear to have lost interest.
More than 320 000 foxes and 1500 wild dogs had been eradicated under the bounty scheme in the past three years.
- Motorcycle ride raises money for cancer charity
- Leukaemia patients come together to support Light the Night Benalla
- Permit sought for a clay target shooting range at a disused quarry at Baddaginnie
- Acclaimed pastry chef returns to Benalla
- Benalla resident on journey to help others with mental illness
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.