Published by Estelle Hermans le on Thursday, September 01, 2016 at 09:41

A green turn, thanks to pheromones!

Codling moth

At the Vergers Petit and Fils, we have been establishing for some time a biological control against the codling moth. It is a pest, specifically a butterfly, that affects apple trees in Quebec. This insect, coming from Europe, risks damaging our apple trees by laying eggs on fruits.

Pheromone control

It is by mocking the codling moth in a natural way that the Vergers Petit et Fils use a method based on pheromones. Yes! Yes! The hormones of love (or rather sexual attraction ...)! This method is called sexual confusion. The pheromones of the female butterfly are artificially diffused. This method is intended to confuse males. The phenomenon thus prevents them from finding the females and mating. This does not give rise to egg laying on apples, since there is no fertilization.


Concretely, a chemical substance, spreading the pheromones of the female codling moth, is affixed to sticks. The latter are arranged all over the apple orchard, more precisely on the upper branches of the apple trees. It is therefore by dispersing on the field the sex hormones proper to the female of the ravaging butterfly that males are distant from our precious apples. The method of sexual confusion is particularly effective if the diffusers are installed at the same distance some others. This promotes a relatively equal spread of hormones, in an aerial way. This generates widespread protection for all apple trees. On the orchards, no fewer than 500 dispensers per hectare have been set up on the entire estate!

The effects

It has already been two years since the method of sexual confusion has been implanted in the Vergers Petit and Fils. The novelty is that this year, the female codling moth pheromones are spread on all apple trees. We are already seeing the beneficial effects of this biological process, since no male butterfly was caught in the various traps installed. We can therefore deduce that there is already a decrease in the reproduction of this insect on the domain.


Providing our customers with products from a healthy and environmentally friendly environment is a priority for us! We were the first to stop applying chemical acaricides (a type of pesticide that is widely used in market gardening) to get rid of mites. We use other insects to fight them. It is therefore a turn more green than borrows our fruit production ... To your health!

Copyright © 2016, Les Vergers Petit et fils, All rights reserved.* | A green turn thanks to pheromones! | ** | The codling moth | ** | The fight by pheromones | ** | Effects | *Written by Fanny Champagne

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