The sterile insect technique (SIT) is a proven effective control tactic against lepidopteran pests when applied in an areawide integrated pest management program. The construction of insect mass-rearing facilities requires considerable investment and moth control strategies that include the use of sterile insects could be made more cost-effective through the importation of sterile moths produced in other production centers. For codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), this is an attractive option because mating studies have confirmed the absence of mating barriers between codling moth populations from geographically different areas. To assess the feasibility of long-distance transportation of codling moths, pupae and adult moths were transported in 2004 from Canada to South Africa in four shipments by using normal commercial transport routes. The total transport time remained below 67 h in three of the consignments, but it was 89 h in the fourth consignment. Temperature in the shipping boxes was fairly constant and remained between -0.61 and 0.16°C for 76.8 – 85.7% of the time. The data presented indicate that transporting codling moths as adults and pupae from Canada to South Africa had little effect on moth emergence, longevity, and ability to mate, as assessed in the laboratory. These results provide support to the suggestion that the SIT for codling moth in pome fruit production areas might be evaluated and implemented by the importation of irradiated moths from rearing facilities in a different country or hemisphere.
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Vol. 104 • No. 3