The region’s Sterile Insect Release program is being lauded for its work in controlling coddling moth populations that threatened the area’s tree fruit crops. The program works by capturing coddling moths and rendering them sterile before releasing them back into the wild, where they interrupt the normal breeding cycle. Director Chad Eliason reported the program recently won an award of excellence at an international pest management symposium, noting the award recognizes the program as one of the best in the world.
Board chair Rhona Martin commented on the efforts, saying when the plan was first brought in, it was considered outside the box, but now it is a worldwide leader.
“The apples and pears are now doing much better and the coddling moths not so much,” she noted.