For Best Pest Detection, Suit the Attractant to
the Fruit Fly By
January 18, 2008
Several Anastrepha fruit fly species that plague Latin American fruit
growers are also quarantine pests in the United States. To evaluate lures used
to monitor fruit flies in production areas, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and colleagues in the
Dominican Republic recently tested two ammonia-based formulations and found
them to differ in effectiveness, depending on the Anastrepha
Synthetic lures rely on the attractiveness of protein sources to catch
hungry fruit flies. One commercial attractantBiolure, made by
Suterra LLC of Bend, Ore.includes
ammonium acetate and putrescine among its components. Entomologist
Epsky at the ARS Subtropical
Horticultural Research Station in Miami, Fla., tested the effect of ammonia
formulation, substituting ammonium biocarbonate for the ammonium acetate.
Using Multilure traps, Epsky tested both ammonia formulationsat
different release rates in combination with putrescineon wild fruit
flies. Collaborators at the Instituto
Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales in San Francisco
de Macorís, Dominican Republic, assisted with the testing.
Traps were deployed at study sites with active populations of Mexican
fruit flies (A. ludens) at Allende and Linares in Nuevo Leon, Mexico;
Caribbean fruit flies (A. suspensa) near Fort Pierce, Fla.; and West
Indian fruit flies (A. obliqua) at Hato Damas in the Dominican Republic.
Researchers tested six treatments, including two standard liquid protein baits
and four synthetic lure combinations, for periods of eight to 16 weeks,
replacing the synthetic lures after four weeks.
At both Mexican sites, traps with the ammonium acetate-putrescine
combination captured more Mexflies than all of the other attractants, and the
ammonium biocarbonate-putrescine combination performed better than
protein-baited traps. The ammonium acetate-putrescine combination also worked
better with Caribflies at the Florida test site.
But with West Indian fruit flies in the Dominican Republic, protein
baits outperformed both synthetic baits, although ammonium acetate again proved
more attractive than ammonium bicarbonate.
While one lure combination will not be optimal for all species and all
regions where fruit flies are pests, these results showed what works best in
the locations tested. The findings were reported at a recent meeting of the
Entomological Society of America.
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agricultures chief scientific research agency.