Fruit growers are finding they can save on chemical spraying costs by using sex lures to confuse male moths looking for mates.

Michigan State University research assistant Peter McGhee is working with apple, cherry and peach growers on the nontoxic method for reducing insect infestations.

The effort uses pheromones to alter moths' behavior and mating patterns.

Pheromones are chemicals that cause changes in behavior in members of a species.

Michigan State spokesman Brian Vernellis says "interrupting mating season means fewer larvae" and "less damage to crops."

McGhee says growers often have relied on poisons to kill the moths and now can save money and time, while protecting the environment.