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Crop Pests

Program Contact: Keith Mathews
(509) 574-1583 •

Managing Invasive Insect Pests

Since 1998, WSU Yakima County Extension has been actively involved in educating tree fruit growers and homeowners about the threat posed by the apple maggot, an invasive pest of apples and pears. Establishment of this pest in the major apple-producing areas of the state could cost the Eastern Washington economy an estimated $75 million annually to manage, regulate and inspect fruit to assure export markets that our Washington apples are maggot-free.

Controlling Disease

Extension oversaw an educational program to enhance cherry grower awareness and recognition of lethal cherry tree viruses. The program also sought to contain the spread of these viruses, including a cherry leafroll virus, by aggressive removal of “sick” trees before the viruses spread to adjacent healthy trees. The short-term impact of the program was the detection and prompt removal of nearly 500 virus-infected cherry trees in grower blocks in the Yakima Valley over a 3-year period.

First Detector Station Speeds Pest Identification

WSU First Detector Stations, including one at the WSU Yakima County Extension office, are portals to a state- and nationwide network of plant and arthropod diagnosticians who utilize digital images to facilitate and more rapidly identify organisms. These stations serve as the “eyes and ears” for the early identification of unique, invasive and exotic pest species. Over the past two growing seasons, WSU Yakima County Extension has utilized this station to identify over 400 insects and spiders for homeowners, agricultural producers and regulatory agencies. About 10% of these identifications were made from digital images by diagnosticians in other parts of the state or United States. The use of digital technology reduces the amount of time it takes to identify an insect from days to hours.

The 2019-2020 Crop Protection Guide for Tree Fruits is now available with improved design for better durability and revised tables with a focus on Pesticide Mode of Action. Whenever possible, avoid repeated use of insecticides and fungicides with the same mode of action each and every season.

The guide can be purchased at Yakima County Extension office, or download from the web. Click here for download.