Why is it a problem?
Oriental fruit fly poses a serious threat to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables throughout its range; in some areas they have been shown to cause up to 100% damage levels to unprotected crops. A high reproductive potential and broad host range makes the fruit fly highly invasive.
- Reduces native biodiversity
- Negatively impacts livelihoods
- Severe crop reductions
What’s the solution?
Prevention methods such as the restriction of imports of fruit into uninfected areas have shown to be effective in preventing spread. Equally, the wrapping of fruit in newspaper and plastic bags before the fruit fly has a chance to attack has proved to be an effective prevention technique in infested areas. Fruit fly seldom attack plants prior to ripening, therefore crops like mango can be protected if they are harvested early.
The use of bait insecticides (the method of combining an insecticide with protein bait and then applying minimal amounts to the plant) have shown to be effective, as the fruit fly is drawn to the ammonia that is emanated by the protein source. This method has proved to be more economic and environmentally friendly than alternatives, such as cover sprays.
Sterile insect techniques were used to successfully eradicate fruit fly from areas in Japan.