Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Insect Ecology & Behavior Laboratory

Vince Jones' Research

Flight Mill Studies

In the area of insect behavior, our lab is equipped with 24 digital flight mills and a wind tunnel. We have been investigating the scale of dispersal for both codling moth and obliquebanded leafroller as well as the effect of flight on reproductive fitness. This work dovetails nicely with our field studies on movement of codling moth and leafroller in the field and how flight is affected by different wind speeds. We are currently working on developing a quantitative model that integrates wind speed, field longevity of moths, the effect of delayed mating on population growth to provide us a better understanding of the factors that affect population dynamics. For more detailed information about building and using a flight mill visit the Flight Mill page.

Note: We do not sell Flight Mills or their components. We do provide the specifications for you to make your own. Also, the program routine provided here only works in older versions of the software and runs in Windows XP. We use an older computer dedicated solely to this task. Please don't ask us to rewrite the routines.

WSU Spotlight Feature: Insect Flight Mills Shed Light on Moth Behavior

In this featured video graduate student Teah Smith uses an insect flight mill to record distance for the codling moth and the obliquebanded leafroller, unveiling the suprising dispersal capabilities of these delicate insects. You can read the companion article here.
(To learn how to attach a moth to a flight mill watch the second video further down the page.)

Video: "Insect flight mills shed light on moth behavior"

Problems viewing? Watch with YouTube


Watch the video on how to attach a moth to the flight mill

Problems viewing? Watch with YouTube
Flight MIll Credits:

The original design and development of the Flight Mill was by Dr. Steven E. Naranjo of the USDA-ARS Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center at Maricopa, AZ USA. Email Steve

download flight mill supporting files:
Flight Mill design specs & How to attach moth   Wiring Parts   Flight Mill Parts
Flight Mill Program (zip)   Program Instructions   Wiring Diagram

Natural Enemy Attractants

We are currently evaluating a large number of attractants for natural enemies to help us understand the population levels, diversity, and timing of natural enemy presence in orchard situations. These studies are showing certain compounds are very specific, while others attract a wide-range of natural enemies. These studies are being done in collaboration with our colleagues in California (Dr. Nick Mills), Washington (Drs. Tom Unruh and Dave Horton) and Oregon (Dr. Peter Shearer). As more of these compounds are tested, we are working to evaluate other ways that they may be used to “herd” natural enemies to certain parts of the orchard to temporarily enhance functional and numerical responses in high pest areas. We will also be evaluating how the attractants act behaviorally (e.g., attraction range, sex ratio attracted, how different trap types and doses of attractant affect responses).

Effect of Mating Disruption on Population Growth

Mating disruption has been successfully used on roughly 75% of Washington’s apple and pear acreage. Our work has been to evaluate the mechanisms by which mating disruption affects population growth. We have found that the relatively short life span of codling moth under summer conditions and the relative efficacy of the pheromone drastically curtail population growth through the delay in mating caused by males not finding females as rapidly as when it is absent. Our studies suggest that using half the normal field rate results in very low to no population growth rate, if no migration from external sources occurs and if coverage throughout the area is good. However, in situations where external sources are present, full rates of mating disruption are needed to reduce population growth.




Vincent P. Jones

Professor & Entomologist

Department of Entomology, Washington State University Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, Wenatchee, WA 98801

(509) 663-8181 ext. 273 (phone) (509) 662-8714 (fax)



Links of Interest

Codling moth mating videos

Immuno-marking studies

Decision Aid System user statistics


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WSU-Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, 1100 N Western Ave., Wenatchee, WA 98801 509-663-8181, Contact Us