In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, peach twig borer (PTB) can be a problematic issue by itself and it can also contribute to navel orangeworm damage due to the relationship between the two pests. Monitoring orchards as the larvae overwinter in trees can be an important first step in managing the pest when warmer temperatures approach in the spring.
“Peach twig borer can be a very devastating pest, especially on young orchards,” Valent Field Market Research Representative Tino Lopez said. “If you don’t keep them under control, they will devastate all the new growth that’s coming out and when you’re trying to develop a new tree like that it will set back an orchard if you’re not on top of it.”
Applications will typically need to start once warm temperatures cause the larvae to emerge, highlighting the importance of diligent monitoring in orchards. In the meantime, there are also some preemptive measures that can be taken to ward off the presence of PTB. “You also have the option at this time of year, what we call a dormant or delayed-dormant timing, to go in there with an insecticide…in combination with oil and try to kill them before they actually come out of the hibernacula,” said Lopez.
Taking action to combat PTB not only helps limit the amount of direct damage caused by the pest, but it can also help to limit the amount of damage inflicted by navel orangeworm. “[PTB damage] predispose that nut for navel orangeworm to attack it. Navel orangeworm seems to have a preference for those nuts that have been affected by twig borer and so it has a secondary effect causing the navel orangeworm to even be more aggressive,” Lopez noted. “Good navel orangeworm control starts with peach twig borer control in a lot of cases.”