The EPA approved an X-rated solution Friday for the age-old problem of worm holes in apples: a biochemical pesticide that uses mega-doses of female sex scent to befuddle ardent codling moth males.
The Environmental Protection Agency said the new pesticide is designed to stop codling moth reproduction by releasing large amounts of female sex scent into orchards to bamboozle males searching for mates.By preventing mating, the pesticide eliminates codling moth larvae that are primarily responsible for boring holes in apples. The larvae burrow into immature apples - known to orchardists as "codlings" - and feed on the core and seeds.
"If an apple has a worm hole, chances are the codling moth larvae made it," said James Krysan, an official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.
The pesticide, called ISOMATE-C, is a synthetic version of the pheromone, or sex scent, emitted by female codling moths to attract males.