As a vector of Candidatus Phytoplasma mali, a pathogen causing apple proliferation disease, Cacopsylla picta is responsible for crop damage worth hundreds of millions euro annually in Europe alone. Since direct control of the spread of apple proliferation is not possible, plant protection requires vector control measures.
In Germany, the application of PPPs to control the psyllids Cacopsylla picta is not permitted either in organic or traditional farming. New knowledge about the odour preferences of C. picta also offers innovative possibilities for the control of this pest. Accordingly, the aim of the project is to develop formulas to be used primarily as part of the “Attract-and-Kill” strategy for the biological control of the psyllid species Cacopsylla picta. In addition, it needs to be determined whether a combination with repellents enhances the effect (“Push-Pull-Kill” strategy).
The focus of the project is on launching a method based on the limited use of plant protection products. The developed formulas will affect specific pest species, acting as a preventive biological solution to pest outbreaks, and thus reduce the risk to humans, animals, and the natural environmental balance.