There are many different quarantine pests associated with fruit production in the Walla Walla Valley, including codling moth, apple maggot and cherry fruit fly as well as a whole host of diseases including fireblight. There are also numerous other noxious pests including apple scab, powdery mildew and bacterial canker to name but a few. The problems associated with pests and diseases extend to the wine grape industry too and the biggest concern in the Walla Walla Valley must be avoiding Phylloxera and Pierce's Disease. Many apple and cherry orchards and vineyards are situated within two miles of the City of Milton-Freewater which means that the pests can easily spread from untended home garden trees and vines. Conclusive evidence obtained over the last 7 years from areawide trap counts (CAMP Program) have shown that the orchards bordering on the City have a major problem where insect pests are concerned. The pressure has been traced to unsprayed home garden trees within the city limits as well as some untended orchards in the county. In 2004, exports to Taiwan were halted as a result of the third strike coming out of Milton-Freewater. The Northwest Horticulture Council estimated the loss of revenue to the PNW at $26 million. It is important to note that this did not take into account the loss of revenue in the form of Forex, to the entire US apple industry. Consequently, it is imperative that all fruit trees within the County be sprayed and cared for. Indeed it is both County and State law and pome fruit must be sprayed every 10 to 14 days from fruit set to harvest. Stone fruit must be sprayed every 7 days from fruit set to harvest.
The Don't Bug Us Campaign was launched in 2006, with the support of the Umatilla County Commissioners and the City of Milton Freewater Management to ensure that the fruit and wine grape industries are protected from the devastating effects of pests and diseases associated with untended and abandoned fruit trees in and around the City and County.
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