Leveraging Pest Behavior for Implementation of Sustainable Management Tactics for Plum Curculio in Southeastern Peach Production

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2018: $16,464.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2020
Grant Recipient: University of Georgia
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Brett Blaauw
University of Georgia


  • Fruits: peaches


  • Pest Management: integrated pest management

    Proposal abstract:

    Plum curculio (Conotrachelus nenuphar) is a key pest in Southeastern peach production that infests fruit and decreases yield. Currently, peach growers rely heavily on repeated broad-spectrum insecticide applications for PC control. However, frequent applications can cause non-target effects (e.g. eliminating beneficial insects), insecticide resistance and adverse effects on the environments (e.g. insecticide runoff and drift). Thus, there is a need for the development of more sustainable approaches for PC management.

    To establish a sustainable PC management program, understanding of the pest's behavior is important. The goal of this project is to facilitate the development of sustainable PC management programs for Southeastern peaches by deciphering PC behavior in peach orchards over time. We will intensely monitor the distribution and movement of PC in peach orchards in Georgia and South Carolina throughout the season.

    A better understanding of PC as proposed in this study will facilitate the development of sustainable PC management programs that spatio-temporally target movement behavior and infestation hotspots within a peach orchard. Thus, sustainable PC management programs may not only reduce insecticide input, but also mitigate the adverse effects caused by repeated insecticide applications.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Objective 1: To investigate plum curculio dispersal patterns form the forested border and distribution within the adjacent peach orchard over time.

    Objective 2: To determine primary dispersal mode and behavior (flight or walking) of plum curculio within a peach orchard throughout the season.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.