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Chemical Control of a Carob Moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), and Various Nitidulid Beetles (Coleoptera) on 'Deglet Noor' Dates in California

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Ectomyelois ceratoniae (Zeller),a carob moth, is a date pest that was recently introduced into the Coachella Valley of California. Infestation of the current season's crop of 'Deglet Noor' dates by this moth or by nitidulid beetles does not occur in the khalal stage of development of date fruits unless summer rains occur. Rain and accompanying high relative humidity results in fruit cracks, fungus infection, and susceptibility to insect infestation of khalal stage dates. In summers without rain, significant nitidulid populations fail to develop. In dry summers, E. ceratoniae oviposits on fallen dates of the previous season that are lodged in frond axils. They begin to oviposit on the new crop when the rutab or ripening stage begins. The appearance of the rutab stage is forecast by the development of a glossy finish on khalal dates and is the time when the first insecticide treatment should be applied. Commercial treatments are applied exclusively by powerful dusting equipment that delivers a dust stream through a hand-directed tube. Only insecticides of low toxicity to the operator can be used. During three seasons, trials were made of various application schedules of a malathion (5%)dust. In a summer with rain-induced nitidulid populations, four applications at 2-wk intervals adequately controlled both beetles and moths. Treatment should begin just ahead of the development of the rutab stage of fruit development. In rainless summers, three treatments applied at 3-wk intervals successfully controlled E. ceratoniae. Early initiation of the treatment schedule did not improve control.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1990

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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