Plum curculio, Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst), is a quarantine pest of many temperate fruits, such as pomes, Malus spp.; stone fruits, Prunus spp.; and blueberries, Vaccinium spp.; in North America east of the Rocky Mountains and a small area in Utah. There are two strains, a northern univoltine one that undergoes obligate diapause as an adult and a southern multivoltine strain that usually has facultative diapause. Current quarantine treatments for shipment to areas that do not have the pest include methyl bromide fumigation and cold storage for several weeks. The cold storage treatment may not be effective against northern strain adults in diapause. The objective of this research was to develop an irradiation quarantine treatment against plum curculio. The estimated dose to kill southern strain plum curculio adults in one day is ≈4 kGy. Diapausing northern strain plum curculios were prevented from reproducing with 40 Gy. Reproduction of southern strain plum curculios was prevented with a target dose of 80 Gy, and the dose recommended as a quarantine treatment, that would prevent adults from reproducing, is 92 Gy, the maximum absorbed dose measured when a target dose of 80 Gy was sought. At that dose, oviposition may still occur for up to 1 wk and some of the eggs may hatch, but there is no development beyond the first instar. Hosts of the plum curculio would tolerate that dose well. Immature plum curculios were prevented from reproducing with lower doses.
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Vol. 96 • No. 5