skip to main content


2020 Codling Moth Sterile Insect Release

Friday Nov 8th, 2019

viber image 2019 11 08 10 59 48

M3 Consulting Group is excited to announce that we are increasing the service area in 2020. The service will be expanded to offer 3,500 acres of availability and we will expand our coverage area to include: Okanogan, Lake Chelan, Wenatchee Valley, Columbia Basin and now the Yakima Valley. Thank you to all whom promoted this service in 2018 and 2019. It has been a pleasure to support Washington growers and we look forward to continuing this service.

We began offering the commercial service in 2019 through involvement in a 2018 (and ongoing) study funded by the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission titled “Optimizing sterile insect release of codling moth in Washington.” M3 Consulting Group volunteered to transport and release the sterile insect at zero cost in year one of this study. We were confident that a demonstration of the method in Washington orchards would spark demand. It worked! We wrapped up the 2019 season a few months ago and feedback from our commercial partners suggest that the method performed well and demand will increase in 2020.

In 2019, Washington apple producers purchased 1,183 acres of sterile insect treatment resulting in the release of 19 million sterile moths for codling moth suppression. These moths were imported from Canada and routinely released into Washington organic and conventional apple orchards using the newest innovation in sterile insect release: the use of unmanned aircraft to connect the last mile. Unmanned aircraft and our cold chain transport methods allow us to distribute this service throughout central Washington in an expeditious and efficient manner. Healthy sterile moths are our business!

We are committed to growing the availability of sterile insect services in Washington and other markets. We see the opportunity to help growers and agricultural consultants enhance suppression and prolong existing control tactics. To this end, we are investigating the construction of a Washington based sterile codling moth rearing facility to provide increased capacity and access.

Stay tuned for updates as we move forward in helping the tree fruit industry suppress codling moth. Thank you!