Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

2010 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop environmentally acceptable and economically feasible systems for detection, control, suppression, and eradication of the Mediterranean, oriental, melon, and Malaysian fruit flies and other insect pests associated with tropical fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Test more environmentally acceptable pesticides and compounds for use in control or eradication programs for fruit flies. Investigate biology and behavior of fruit flies and their parasitoids. Evaluate augmentative parasite releases, mass trapping, male annihilation, sterile fly releases, novel insecticides and food bait sprays as control, suppression, or eradication technologies. Develop new or improved lures, attractants, parapheromones, and baits to be used in improved trap detection devices and/or control systems. Investigate fruit fly and parasitoid olfactory, gustatory, and oviposition aensilla and their electrophysiology. Investigate chemical structure and activity relationships of semiochemicals of fruit flies and their biocontrol agents. Formerly 5320-22430-020-00D (3/05).

3.Progress Report
This is the final report for project 5320-22430-021-00D terminated in March 2010. A new project with similar objectives is currently under review. A Bridge project 5320-22430-023-00D is in place. The Area-Wide Pest Management (AWPM) Program is one of the most important and heavily cited success stories at the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center during the past 5 years. Technology development was done primarily through the Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research Unit and was the culmination of many years of research. The AWPM program promoted inter-institutional cooperation (ARS, University of Hawaii, and Hawaii Department of Agriculture) to help solve one of the most important agricultural problems in Hawaii for local farmers with a combination of sanitation, reduced risk insecticides, and biological control. It has been the recipient of seven major IPM awards for excellence. Some of the major accomplishments to date include: (1) Statewide adoptation by 2,747 users; 682 farms; and 16,785 acres. (2) Prior to this program, no chemicals were registered in the United States specifically for the suppression of fruit flies. The AWPM program was instrumental in obtaining the first Hawaii research permits and then assisted in the registration process GF-120 and methyl eugenol and cue-lure products with state and federal authorities. (3) Major economic contributions to agriculture in Hawaii and instigated the growing of a greater diversity of crops. In addition by allowing farmers to make significant cuts in pesticide use, the program helped improve Hawaii’s environment and sustain open space, which contributed to maintain the islands’ tourism. (4) A full cost-benefit analysis found that the AWPM program would create as much as a 32% return on an investment of $14 million over 15 years and that doesn’t count the substantial indirect benefits, such as increased agricultural employment, nor environmental benefits that don’t have a direct dollar return.

The success of the AWPM program had international impacts on fruit fly management, as many other countries are also facing similar problems. Researchers and officials from Australia, People’s Republic of China, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Reunion, Senegal, Kenya, Taiwan and Mexico, among others, have expressed interest in or adopted the program as a model for fruit fly suppression.

For additional information on the HAWPM refer to report 0500-00044-016-00D.

1. Improved tools are needed for eradication of fruit flies. Through an ARS-industry partnership, ARS scientists in Hilo, HI, registered SPLAT-MAT-Spinosad-ME with the EPA in June 2008 and licensed for use in Hawaii in January 2010. Registration for California is projected for August 2010. SPLAT-MAT-Spinosad-ME is an environmentally friendly substitute for Min-U-Gel ME with naled commonly used to eradicate accidental fruit fly infestations on the U.S. mainland and is projected to have worldwide applications.

2. Novel fruit fly monitoring trap with both methyl eugenol and cue-lure. Environmentally-friendly methyl eugenol (ME) and cue-lure (C-L) traps with solid lure dispensers to monitor or suppress oriental fruit fly and melon fly, respectively, were evaluated by scientists at the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center. Captures of oriental fruit flies and melon flies with wafers containing both ME and raspberry ketone (FarmaTech Mallet MC) were equivalent to those containing separate lures. The FT Mallet MC wafer offers the potential of being used in a single trap in place of two separate traps for detection of ME and C-L responding fruit flies (with 30,000 ME and C-L traps alone maintained in California). New formulations of fruit fly lures will enhance detection capabilities for this pest.

3. New female attractant for melon fly. Other than proteinaceous baits, no good female-biased attractant for detection and control of melon fly had been developed. ARS researchers at Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) in Hawaii have developed a female-biased attractant for melon fly which can be used for detection of this species. This new attractant can now be used to detect and in some cases control melon fly populations when combined with other suppression techniques.

4. Augmentative releases of multiple natural enemies against melon fly. Non-pesticidal methods for control of melon fly are needed in Hawaii. Field experiments were completed by scientists at the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center on Oahu to evaluate the efficacy of releasing Fopius arisanus (Sonan) and Psyttalia fletcheri (Silvestri) parasitioids for suppression of melon fly infesting wild ivy gourd near small vegetable farms. Concurrent releases of both parasitoids exerted an enhanced suppressive effect on the melon fly population 2-3 times higher than during the pre-release phase. Melon fly population pressure was reduced on the small vegetable farms. These field studies confirmed previous laboratory evaluations and support the strategy of releasing or conserving both F. arisanus and P. fletcheri as part of an Integrated Pest Management program for melon fly in Hawaii and other infested areas in the world.

Review Publications
Leblanc, L., Rubinoff, D., Vargas, R.I. 2009. Attraction of nontarget species to fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) male lures and decaying fruit flies in traps in Hawaii. Environmental Entomology. 38:5, 1446-1461.

Jameson, M., Oishi, D.E., Ratcliffe, B.C., Mcquate, G.T. 2009. Two Additional Invasive Scarabaeoid Beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae) in Hawaii. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society. 41: 25-30.

Leblanc, L., Vargas, R.I., Rubinoff, D. 2010. Attraction of Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) and Nontarget Insects to the Attractant BioLure and its Individual Components in Hawaii. Environmental Entomology Society. 41: 25-30.

Pinero, J.C., Mau, R.F., Mcquate, G.T., Vargas, R.I. 2009. Novel Bait Stations for Attract-and-Kill of Pestiferous Fruit Flies. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 133: 208-216.

Vargas, R.I., Mau, R.F., Stark, J.D., Pinero, J.C., Leblanc, L., Souder, S.K. 2010. Evaluation of Methyl Eugenol and Cue-Lure Traps with Solid Lure and Insecticide Dispensers for Fruit Fly Monitoring and Male Annihilation in the Hawaii Area-Wide Pest Management Program. Journal of Economic Entomology. J. Econ. Entomol. 103(2): 408-415.

Last Modified: 3/2/2015
Footer Content Back to Top of Page