Fruit pests

Backyard orchards pose a threat

May 25, 2005

Cherry fruit fly has emerged in The Dalles, according to an Oregon State University report this week. The issue only sounds obscure, but it’s of vital interest to our local fruit economy, in Hood River and Wasco counties alike.

The fruit fly emergence underscores the overall problem of pest infestation as outlined by OSU horticulturist Steve Castagnoli on page B4 in this edition.

“Home fruit growers that neglect to control insect pests and diseases on backyard trees create sources of infestation to commercial orchards,” Castagnoli reports. “The impact of unmanaged trees has become more significant in recent years as orchardists employ ‘softer’ pest control programs based on non-chemical and more selective products as part of an overall shift away from pest management programs that rely on regular applications of broad-spectrum insecticides.”

Anyone with a backyard orchard has a role to play in fighting codling moth, which is a pest of pear, apple, and crab apple; apple maggot, which is a pest of apple, crab apple, and hawthorn; and western cherry fruit fly, which is a pest of cherry.

Hood River Grower-Shippers have a new campaign to help homeowners find options to fruit trees. Castagnoli’s column contains details about this vital program.

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