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Integrated Pest Management 

Integrated Pest Management is a way to growing fruit and management pests using information instead of pesticides or other substances. Apple growers who use this system constantly check their orchards for infestations and disease. They put out traps to capture specific insects and count the numbers in the traps. They inspect the leaves of the apple trees in search of signs of insects and disease. They monitor the weather conditions that could promote specific infestations. The growers use that information, in conjunction with the development phase of the fruit, to decide how and when they should do specific interventions, and then do them in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

Integrated Pest Management is a way to drastically reduce the use of pesticides. Chemical substances therefore only have to be used if the harmful insects are actually present in the orchard in such numbers that they actually do damage to the harvest. By tracking the development of the infestation and the harvest, pesticides can be used at the moment that the infestation is easiest to fight and before the harvest is harmed. In many cases, no pesticides are used at all but the growers keep the natural enemies of the infesting insects alive to keep the infestation under control. That also saves the fruit growers a great deal of money by not having to engage in very expensive spraying.

We have been using Integrated Pest Management for a long time. That has led to growers reducing the frequency of spraying by half. In the 1960s, growers commonly had to treat their orchards with insecticides 8 to 12 times per summer. Most are now able to get by with only 5 or 6 times. In some orchards, only two treatments with insecticides were necessary in some years.
Some harmful organisms can penetrate into the leaves and eat the green tissue. If too much of the greenleaf is eaten away, the fruit cannot grow anymore and if the orchard is neglected, it will die. Growers who use Integrated Pest Management, which is based on observation, will see immediately if anything is wrong in their orchard. They can therefore time their spraying better and reduce the frequency. That reduction will help the natural enemies - the 'useful ones' - to increase sharply in numbers so they can eat the 'harmful ones' and keep the population of 'bad' insects so low that no damage is done to the apple trees.

Another example of Integrated Pest Management is the use of pheromones (a typically female scent) to attract male fruit moths. That process involves the fruit growers hanging ribbons with female pheromones on the branches everywhere in the orchard. The male fruit moths, which are attracted by the scent on the strips that have been placed all over the orchard, become confused because they cannot find any females. That reduces the number of fruit moths in the next generation without the use of pesticides.
Some fruit growers hang red balls with adhesive on the outside to catch apple mite flies. They know not to spray until they catch the flies in the traps. There are also fruit growers who hang large numbers of those balls all over the orchard so they can capture a large part of the mite population. That is another way that those harmful insects can be fought without using pesticides.
Scabies is a disease that is primarily spread by hot, humid weather. So fruit growers keep a close eye on the weather to see when the weather conditions are favourable for outbreaks of the disease. A new group of fungicides are now being used after an outbreak rather than to prevent an infestation. By using those fungicides and keeping a close eye on the weather, the frequency of those sprayings can be reduced, as well.

Fruit growers have also found that careful pruning and balanced fertilization also keep fruit trees healthy and protect them against all kinds of diseases and infestations.

Sayings, proverbs and expressions involving fruit 


The Big Apple
New York City
One bad apple spoils the bunch
One person's bad behaviour can ruin the reputation of others
The apple will fall when it's ripe
→ Be patient
The apple of my eye
→ Someone who is dearly loved
Don't upset the apple cart
Don't cause a fuss
Crab apple
→ A miserable person
As American as apple pie
Typically American
Comparing apples and oranges
→ Comparing things that are not similar
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree
→ Children are usually like their parents


Go pear-shaped
→ Go badly
When the pear is ripe, it will fall
→ Everything happens in its own time


Sparrows like eating your cherries, but not planting your trees
→ Benefiting without contributing
Life is not a bowl of cherries
→ Life is sometimes difficult