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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: AREAWIDE PEST MANAGEMENT OF FRUIT FLIES IN HAWAII
2006 Annual Report


1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? Why does it matter?
Fruit flies are among the most serious agricultural pests, having a severe economic impact on tropical and subtropical agriculture in many parts of the world and posing an increased threat of establishment into new areas. In Hawaii, fruit flies jeopardize development of a diversified fruit and vegetable industry, cause export fruits to undergo expensive quarantine treatments, and provide a reservoir for introduction into the mainland United States. Area-wide suppression of fruit flies will allow for expansion of diversified agriculture in Hawaii.

Hawaii was selected as a recipient of USDA-ARS, Area-wide Pest Management (AWPM) funds for control of fruit flies. The goal of the Fruit Fly Area-wide Pest Management (AWPM) program is to develop and integrate biologically based pest management approaches that will result in area-wide suppression and control of fruit flies throughout selected agricultural areas of Hawaii. Intensive use of pesticides is generally effective, but causes undesirable side effects. We are resolving the problem by:.
1)documenting the overuse of pesticides,.
2)researching the population dynamics, spatial distribution, and dispersal of key pests,.
3)registering environmentally friendly male annihilation and bait spray treatments for Hawaii, and.
4)demonstrating improved methods of fruit fly control through technology transfer to the farmer.

When pests (e.g. Hawaiian fruit flies) are introduced into the U.S. mainland, they often require large-scale eradication programs, sometimes at great public expense. In California where the total value of the fruit and vegetable industry has been estimated to be more than $14 billion annually, the California Department of Food and Agriculture has estimated that an established infestation of Mediterranean fruit fly would cost from $855 million to $1.4 billion during the first year of establishment. In Hawaii, production of fruits and vegetables is limited due to insect pests. Furthermore, the presence of regulated pests in shipments of produce from Hawaii to other states or countries causes rejection of the shipment and loss of income to Hawaii's growers. One major goal of our laboratory is to facilitate the export of Hawaii's fruits, which will encourage expansion of the industry and create jobs.

Relevance to ARS National Program Action Plan: National Program 304, Crop & Commodity Pest Biology, Control, & Quarantine: Research will provide new information on pest biology, spatial distributions, control and quarantine of fruit flies and associated pest insects. This information will be useful for (1) development of ecologically based area-wide control & eradication methods and (2) export of tropical fruits.


2.List by year the currently approved milestones (indicators of research progress)
FY05 Identify areas for areawide implementation in Hawaii. Set up trapping grids to monitor fruit fly populations and identify cultivated and non-cultivated hosts using GIS/GPS. Implement area-wide IPM strategies (sanitation, bait sprays, male annihilation, sterile insect and parasitoid releases) in cooperation with grower cooperators and areawide staff. Develop and implement grower education and training programs, community-based education programs using electronic and video media as well as hand-on demonstrations. Research to improve areawide IPM (sanitation methodology, improved attractants, alternative pesticides, use of borders for melon fly control, mass-trapping of medfly, male only fruit fly strains, effects of technologies on non-target populations). Registration of fruit fly lures, expansion of program to other areas and development of program sustainability.

FY06 Implement area-wide IPM strategies (sanitation, bait sprays, male annihilation, sterile insect and parasitoid releases) in cooperation with grower cooperators and areawide staff. Develop and implement grower education and training programs, community-based education programs using electronic and video media as well as hand-on demonstrations. Research to improve areawide IPM (sanitation methodology, improved attractants, alternative pesticides, use of borders for melon fly control, mass-trapping of medfly, male only fruit fly strains, effects of technologies on non-target populations). Registration of fruit fly lures, expansion of program to other areas and development of program sustainability.

FY07 Implement area-wide IPM strategies (sanitation, bait sprays, male annihilation, sterile insect and parasitoid releases) in cooperation with grower cooperators and areawide staff. Develop and implement grower education and training programs, community-based education programs using electronic and video media as well as hand-on demonstrations. Research to improve areawide IPM (sanitation methodology, improved attractants, alternative pesticides, use of borders for melon fly control, mass-trapping of medfly, male only fruit fly strains, effects of technologies on non-target populations). Registration of fruit fly lures, expansion of program to other areas and development of program sustainability.

FY08 Implement area-wide IPM strategies (sanitation, bait sprays, male annihilation, sterile insect and parasitoid releases) in cooperation with grower cooperators and areawide staff. Registration of fruit fly lures, expansion of program to other areas and development of program sustainability.


4a.List the single most significant research accomplishment during FY 2006.
In 1999, USDA-ARS initiated the Hawaii Fruit Fly Area-Wide Pest Management (AWPM) Program to suppress fruit flies below economic thresholds while reducing the use of organophosphate insecticides through development and integration of biologically-based pest technology into a comprehensive management package that will be economically viable, environmentally sensitive, and sustainable. The program has been extended from 5 to 7 years. Progress during the last year included a reduction in organophosphate insecticide usage at all demonstration sites. On Hawaii Island, there are 721 cooperators and 6,798 acres under suppression. On Maui, there are 1,074 cooperators with 2,646 acres under suppression. On Oahu, there are 528 cooperators with 5,637 acres under suppression. Overall (statewide) a suppression program with an "area-wide" approach has been adopted by 2,540 cooperators, on over 607 farms and including 15,773 acres. Economic analyses have confirmed high benefits despite initial program implementation costs. Program implementation has promoted ARS, APHIS, state, university, industry and community partnerships. The project "Area-wide Pest Management of Fruit Flies" addresses components within National Program 304, Crop & Commodity Pest Biology, Control, & Quarantine and National Program 308, Methyl Bromide Alternatives.


4b.List other significant research accomplishment(s), if any.
The Puna and Kona areas have been identified as new demonstration sites. Approximately 800 acres of papayas in Puna, and various avocado orchards in Kona are being surveyed for fruit flies. When papaya fruits mature at the Puna site, the AWPM (1-2-3-4 Approach) program will be implemented. Sterile oriental fruit fly releases may be continued in the Puna target area, if necessary to achieve "infestation-free" or "low-prevalence" status. In order to promote sustainability of the program when ARS funding to the program ends, "Manufacturers Use Permits (MUP's)" for cue-lure and methyl eugenol were approved for FarmaTech International by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dow AgroSciences will obtain an all crops label for GF-120 by the end of 2006. Work is underway to register several male annihilation end products through four different companies. Finally, the Hawaii AWPM program continued to receive national and international recognition by being awarded an "IPM Achievement Award" at the Fifth National IPM Symposium in St. Louis.


4c.List significant activities that support special target populations.
None


4d.Progress report.
None; refer to response for Question 5.


5.Describe the major accomplishments to date and their predicted or actual impact.
In 1999, USDA-ARS launched the Hawaii Fruit Fly Area-Wide Pest Management (AWPM) Program as a 5-year program to suppress fruit flies below economic thresholds while reducing the use of organophosphate insecticides. The program involves developing and integrating biologically-based pest technology into a comprehensive management package that will be economically viable, environmentally sensitive and sustainable. The technologies include:.
1)field sanitation,.
2)protein bait sprays and/or traps,.
3)male annihilation with male lures and attractants, and if needed, (4) augmentative parasitoid releases and.
5)sterile insect releases. Many of these technologies were developed by ARS in Hawaii; however, they have never been packaged and transferred to Hawaiian farmers.

Progress to date includes development of three geographical areas on three islands for program implementation based on population monitoring, agricultural and geographical assessments, and selection of areas most likely to benefit from application of the area-wide approach. In cooperation with the University of Hawaii, Hawaii State Department of Agriculture, growers and other organizations, we have secured special local needs registrations for agricultural chemicals, implemented a fruit fly IPM extension educational program, developed site specific implementation plans and initiated trapping, sanitation and control measures within a defined area for sites on Hawaii, Maui and Oahu Islands. Program implementation has promoted ARS, state, university and community partnerships with the support of research and regulatory and agencies. The Hawaii AWPM program has been honored with seven national awards. NP304-Crop & Commodity Pest Biology, Control & Quarantine: Research will provide new information on pest biology, spatial distributions, control and quarantine of fruit flies and associated pest insects. This information will be useful for development of ecologically based area-wide control and eradication methods and export of tropical fruits. NP308-Methy Bromide Alternatives: Research will provide alternative methods to methyl bromide for control of fruit flies & associated insect pests and treatment of infested crops.


6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
Major technologies transferred include sanitation, GF-120 spinosad bait sprays, male annihilation treatments, sterile flies, and parasitoids. In cooperation with the University of Hawaii, State Department of Agriculture, growers and other organizations, we have secured special local needs registrations for agricultural chemicals, implemented a fruit fly IPM extension educational program, developed site specific implementation plans and have initiated trapping, sanitation and control measures within a defined grid area for sites on Hawaii, Oahu and Maui Islands. Sterile flies and parasites may not be sustainable by the farmer and may require continued government assistance. Applications for a manufacturer’s use label for cue-lure and methyl eugenol have been issued by EPA. DowAgroSciences will obtain an all crops label for GF-120 by 2006 to include coffee and persimmon, two crops important to sustainability of the program in Hawaii. Finally, in 2005 the Hawaii AWPM program continued to receive national and international recognition by being awarded an "IPM Achievement Award" at the Fifth National IPM Symposium. Finally, growers/cooperators signed up to participate in the program on the five largest islands, now include a total of 2,041 (Oahu: 348, Maui: 841, Molokai: 56, Kauai: 76, and Hawaii: 720).


7.List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below).
Miller, N.W., Vargas, R.I., Prokopy, R.J., Mackey, B.E. 2004. State-dependent attractiveness of protein bait and host fruit odor to bactrocera cucurbitae (Diptera: Tephritidae) females. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 94:5 p. 1063-1068(6).

Revis, H.C., Miller, N.W., Vargas, R.I. 2004. Effects of aging and dilution on attraction and toxicity of gf-120 fruit fly bait spray for melon fly control in Hawaii. Journal of Economic Entomology. 97(5):P1659-1665.

Vargas, R.I., Long, J., Miller, N.W., Delate, K., Jackson, C.G., Uchida, G.K., Bautista, R.C., Harris, E.J. 2004. Releases of psyttalia fletcheri (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and sterile flies to suppress melon fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) in hawaii. Journal of Economic Entomology. 97(5): 1531-1539.

Prokopy, R.J., Miller, N.W., Pinero, J., Oride, L.K., Chaney, N.L., Revis, H., Vargas, R.I. 2005. How effective is GF-120 fruit fly bait spray applied to border area sorghum plants for control of melon flies (Diptera: Tephritidae)?. Florida Entomologist. 87:3. P354-360.


Last Modified: 11/26/2014
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