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Science in Our Valley seminars run every Wednesday starting September 28 and ending November 16. All events are free and open to the public at the WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center (1100 N Western Ave, Wenatchee) from 4pm to 5pm. Prior registration is not required to attend these events.

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Pear Psylla in Our Valley: 70 years of effort towards sustainable integrated pest management

Presented by Dr. Robert Orpet (Entomologist, Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center)

Insect pest management is a major societal issue given public concern about pesticide use leading to declines in beneficial insects. In the Wenatchee Valley, a major pear growing region, entomologists have been attempting to apply principles of sustainable “integrated pest management” against the main pear pest pear psylla for 70 years.

This presentation will focus on the history of these efforts and the prospects for the future of sustainable pest management in the region. Pear psylla management in Washington has followed a cycle of crises: a new insecticides is invented that is effective against pear psylla, then the pest evolves resistance, and then pesticide use worsens the problem by killing the predators and parasitoids of the pest. The cycle repeats through the invention and loss of new active ingredients. Many researchers demonstrated that reducing use of pesticides and timing applications better can allow beneficial insects to keep pear psylla suppressed, but industry has struggled to adopt these “integrated” pest management programs. New tools, on-farm research programs, and cooperation of agricultural professionals discussed in this presentation could help end the cycle of ineffective pesticide dependence in Washington.

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The seminar presentations are intended for a ‘science-based’ audience, including researchers, postdoctoral scientists, teachers, graduate students, undergraduate scientists, and science enthusiasts.

K-12 educators are also encouraged to attend the seminar series to learn about local career connections and research efforts that they can bring back to their students. Clock hours are available through the North Central Educational Service District for attending the series.

Date & Time

Wednesday, October 12
4:00pm – 5:00pm


WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center
1100 N Western Ave, Wenatchee, WA 98801

Registration Price


Clock Hours

1 Clock Hours Available for Purchase

Click here to register on pdEnroller for Clock Hours


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