The cranberry fruitworm (Acrobasis vaccinii
Riley), sparganothis fruitworm (Sparganothis sulfureana
Clemens), and blackheaded fireworm (Rhopobota naevana
Hübner) are historically significant pests of cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon
Aiton) in the Upper Midwest (Wisconsin), USA. Their respective natural histories are well documented but correlations between developmental benchmarks (e.g., larval eclosion) and degree-day accruals are not yet known. Treatment timings are critical to the optimization of any given control tactic, and degree-day accrual facilitates optimization by quantifying the developmental status of pest populations. When key developmental benchmarks in the pest life cycle are linked to degree-days, real-time weather data can be used to predict precise treatment timings. Here, we provide the degree-day accumulations associated with discrete biological events (i.e., initiation of flight and peak flight) for the three most consistent moth pests of cranberries in Wisconsin. Moths were trapped each spring and summer from 2003 to 2011. To characterize flight dynamics and average timing of flight initiation, pheromone-baited trap-catch data were tallied for all three pest species within each of seven growing seasons. These flight dynamics were then associated with the corresponding degree-day accumulations generated using the cranberry plant’s developmental thresholds. Finally, models were fit to the data in order to determine the peak flight of each species. The initiation of the spring flight among all three moth species was highly synchronous, aiding in the timing of control tactics; however, there were substantial differences in the timing of peak flight among the moth species. Characterization of the relationship between temperature and pest development allows pest management professionals to target specific life stages, improving the efficacy of any given pest control tactic.
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