A difficult moth to manage

Managing the destructive diamondback moth is a challenge, but participants at the 8th international conference devoted to this serious agricultural pest are up to the task.

More than 70 researchers from around the world gathered at World Vegetable Center headquarters from 4-8 March 2019 in Shanhua, Taiwan to participate in the 8th International Conference on Management of the Diamondback Moth and Other Crucifer Insect Pests.

Organized in conjunction with Cornell University, the conference explored how Plutella xylostella, a difficult-to-control lepidopteran pest, is responding to climate change. Advances in biological and non-chemical methods of management were presented, and the latest research in insect-plant interactions, host plant resistance, chemical ecology, and insecticide resistance in crucifer pests was reviewed.

“Damage and management costs for the diamondback moth amount to an astonishing US$ 4-5 billion annually, worldwide,” said WorldVeg Director General Marco Wopereis in his opening remarks. “In addition to economic costs, the indiscriminate use of pesticides to manage DBM poses very serious health risks for both producers and consumers.”

Participants visited local vegetable production cooperatives on March 7 to see control methods in action.