Zagorin Hellas - Control by sexual confusion of pest Lepidoptera in apple orchards

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A cooperative of apple producers set up a joint effort among its members to control the codling moth, a major pest, by means of sexual confusion.

Project summary: 

The codling moth (Cydia pomonella) is one of the principal pests of apple trees. Almost all the apple farmers in the municipality of Zagora (Thessaly) are members of the local agricultural cooperative. They cultivate apples according to the integrated production management method. Until 2017, Zamora’s apple producers used synthetic insecticides to protect against the codling moth. This project replaced most of these chemicals with pheromone traps, which are proven to be very effective in controlling the moth population.

Project results: 

Replacing pesticides with pheromone traps has led to a gradual recovery of the wild flora and fauna in the orchards. It has been particularly beneficial for pollinators and other insects that are useful for the apple trees.

Gradually, the pressure on the quality of the water resources in the area is being reduced.

Control of the codling moth is less labour intensive for the farmers.

The local geotechnical department of plant protection needs to spend less time advising apple producers on pest control.

Zamora’s apples are less expensive to produce and quality is improved.

Producers are much less exposed to synthetic plant protection products.