Area-Wide Pest Management

To be most effective, IPM programs should be applied on an area-wide basis. That is, growers within geographically-defined growing areas should coordinate their crop protection efforts so that pests cannot find a refuge from which to re-invade nearby orchards. Area-wide pest management can minimize the need for sprays and thus improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the cooperating growers. Area-wide programs should also include adjacent urban/suburban properties that contain host trees which are often a constant source of pests. Control tactics such as the release of sterile insects and the application of mating disruption products are most effective when applied on an area-wide basis or in the presence of low pest pressure from outside sources. The success of the Okanagan-Kootenay Sterile Insect Release Program (OKSIR) could not have been achieved without the authority to release sterile codling moths throughout all pome fruit orchards and the cooperation of host tree owners. At the present time the OKSIR Program is transitioning to a new long-term area-wide codling moth pest management program that will rely on the strategic release of sterile moths supported by other control tactics as required and by monitoring and enforcement activities. 

An important component of the OKSIR Program is the removal of unmanaged host trees within the program area. Host tree removal can be carried out voluntarily or under enforcement control actions. This practice not only removes unmanaged sources of pests and diseases that can infest nearby managed properties, but also removes sites where invasive alien species can become established undetected and gradually spread to commercial and backyard host plantings.