Fruit flies controlled in orange crops without pesticide use

February 20, 2014

Orange crop infestation by the Mexican fruit fly and the cancelation of exportations of frozen pulp motivated Cítricos Ex (Citrex) research to create an effective technique to control the plague without using pesticides, as well as to the development of a mathematical model to predict the moment when the fruit is more susceptible to an attack.

Two years of research, added to the assessment by the National Institute of Forest, Agricultural and Forest Research (INIFAP) and the Ecology Institute (INECOL), "has allowed us to design a control strategy that prevents the presence of the insect in the ", says Sofia Antonio Nemiga, researcher at Citrex and head of the project.

The technique involves placing fly traps in the crop area. Sixty traps are distributed per hectare, instead of the usual one per five hectares. "We use attractive substances of high effectiveness that are poured in 500 ml pet bottles, which have previously been drilled with small holes," Citrex researcher Fortino Herrera Méndez says.

He points out that field studies suggested the distribution needed for the traps throughout the crop, given that there are zones where the fly is more prone to attack. This technique processes the fruit without plagues or pesticides, allowing Citrex to reestablish exportations and pay a higher price to the citrus producers.

The researchers indicate that the is still in an experimental phase; however, in about five agricultural cycles, it could be completed, and determine when the fruit is more susceptible to infection.

The development of this project has included the establishment of a climate station network that monitors crop-attacking insects and the training of producers, researchers and students.

"The information about the control method is already available, so that citrus producers can approach us at any time for assessment and help in the implementation of the technique, which is also very accessible. Our goal is to keep developing alternatives to control fly populations, which can be adapted and applied without presenting a strong investment", Herrera Méndez says.

Explore further: Researchers induce freezing tolerance in fruit fly

Related Stories

Researchers induce freezing tolerance in fruit fly

February 14, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Most of what is known about the ability of some cold blooded animals and several insects to survive having their body temperature fall below freezing has led to the conclusion that those organisms that can ...

Those fruit flies are pickier than you think

December 5, 2013

On your kitchen counter, it might seem as though fruit flies will show up for just about any type of fruit you leave around for them. But when given a choice about where to lay their eggs, those flies will go for citrus most ...

Is reducing environmental impact in the EU feasible?

January 30, 2014

By 2023 all EU member states must be complying with more stringent guidelines related to Integrated Pest Management (IPM). "The essence of the new guideline is reducing the environmental impact of pesticides," says Piet Boonekamp, ...

Recommended for you

Researchers design first artificial ribosome

July 29, 2015

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins ...

Studies reveal details of error correction in cell division

July 29, 2015

Cell biologists led by Thomas Maresca at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with collaborators elsewhere, report an advance in understanding the workings of an error correction mechanism that helps cells detect and ...

Researchers discover new type of mycovirus

July 29, 2015

Researchers, led by Dr Robert Coutts, Leverhulme Research Fellow from the School of Life and Medical Sciences at the University of Hertfordshire, and Dr Ioly Kotta-Loizou, Research Associate at Imperial College, have discovered ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.