Caribbean Fruit Fly

     Increasingly, application of pesticides by air and occasionally by ground for fruit fly control is meeting resistance from environmentalists as well as the general public. Access to critically sensitive areas including, hospitals, bodies of water and school zones is becoming problematic for fruit fly eradication programs emphasizing broad-spectrum insecticides (Clark et al. 1996).  The situation is further complicated since cultural and biological control methods will not yield immediate results that is necessary for successful eradication programs (VanDriesche and Bellows 1996). Alternative strategies for managing these critically sensitive areas must be developed since we cannot allow these potential target-pest inhabitation areas to harbor densities of fruit flies, which will eventually threaten pest eradication programs.
     Several types of traps, as well as trap-lure combinations and baits, specifically designed to increase monitoring capabilities minimizing environmental impact and decrease chemical residue on fruit crops have been tested for control of Tephritids including the Caribbean fruit-fly, Anastrepha suspensa (Loew). Open bottom plastic traps baited with a two-component synthetic lure BioLure (ammonium acetate and putrescine) and AMPu (ammonium carbonate + methylamine HCl and putrescine) were shown to be efficient in capturing A.  suspensa.
     Several opiine brachonid parasitoid species were introduced into the United States for biological control of A. suspensa. Only few of them including Diachasimorpha longicaudata (Ash.) and Doryctobracon aureolatus (Szepligeti) have become established. Sivinsky et al. 1999 found that A. suspensa larvae and their brachonid parasitoids are evenly distributed within the canopy of the host trees. Baranowski (1993) recorded up to 43% parasitism for A. suspensa with D. longicaudata. The development of an efficient management program that targets A. suspensa without harming parasitiod populations is needed.
     Recently, the strategy of using imidacloprid-treated spheres for management of key fruit fly pests, Rhagoletis pomonella (Walsh) and Rhagoletis mendax Curran have been given much attention in north eastern United States (Liburd et al. 1999, Prokopy et al. 2001, Stelinski and Liburd 2001) and Mexico. This strategy may also work well for other fruit fly species including the Caribbean fruit fly.  However, before any large-scale trials are developed, laboratory assays must be performed to determine A. suspensa response to imidacloprid-treated spheres.  Although, efforts are on the way to develop bait stations, there are no studies in the literature that have explored the potential of using imidacloprid -treated sphere tactics for control of A. suspensa.    In addition, no one has reported on how imidacloprid-treated sphere may affect key fruit fly parasitoids such as D. longicaudata. Our goals were two-fold: 1) To conduct laboratory and field assays to explore the potential of using imidacloprid-treated spheres for management of Caribbean fruit flies and 2) To evluate the effects of imidacloprid-treated spheres on a key parasitoid Diachasmimorpha longicaudata of the Caribbean fruit fly. 

Papers and Presentations

  • "Reduced Risk Strategies for Control of Caribbean Fruit Flies and other Tephritids" Presentation (Click Here)
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