Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae) as a threat for apple
Abstract: Over the last few years, damage to fruits due to the European Corn Borer, Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner, has been recorded in apple orchards of Piedmont (North-West Italy). Investigations carried out in 2006 and 2007 aimed to understand the phenomenon, evaluate a better way to monitor the insect and perhaps modify the pests management strategy to control O. nubilalis. Field surveys confirmed that the main damage occurs in orchards close to corn fields or, in a few cases, in orchards with the grass Echinochloa crus-galli. Researches demonstrated that pheromone-baited mesh cone traps are more efficient than delta sticky traps for monitoring the flight of European corn borer and that in the Piedmont area the E strain is prevalent. Field surveys confirmed that ECB generally lives and reproduces on corn, and migrates onto apple trees when the main host plant is harvested. In Piedmont this happens at the beginning of September, even if damage sometimes appears earlier in August when high populations of ECB are present. Information collected allowed the extension services to monitor the pest and modify the pest management strategy.