2013 Annual Report
New outbreaks of invasive fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) continue to threaten agriculture world-wide. Establishment of these pests often results in serious economic and environmental consequences associated with quarantine, control, and eradication programs. Early fruit fly detection and eradication in the United States requires deployment of large numbers of traps baited with the highly attractive male specific parapheromone lures trimedlure (TML), cue-lure (C-L)/Raspberry Ketone (RK), and methyl eugenol (ME) to detect such pests as Mediterranean fruit fly, melon fly, and oriental fruit fly, respectively. Currently California deploys 30,000 of these traps for fruit fly detection.
In survey trials near Kona, Hawaii, captures of Medfly, oriental fruit fly, and melon fly with Mallet TMR wafers were equal to those for the standard TML, ME, and C-L traps used in Florida and California (Objective 1). TMR is a three-Lure (TML, ME, RK = TMR) detection trap against Medfly, Oriental Fruit Fly and Melon Fly. With confirmatory trials completed in Kona, further testing is being conducted in citrus under California weather conditions (Objective 2). Through a scientist at the University of California, Riverside, we have conducted weathering trials of the novel TMR dispensers in California (Riverside, Lindcove, Bakersfield, Ventura, and Costa Mesa) beginning in July of 2012. Climate data is being obtained from Hobo weather recorders maintained at each location. Weathered dispensers are being sent to Hawaii and Washington for bioassays and chemical analyses, respectively. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) scientists will oversee bioassays in Hawaii. A scientist at Farmatech (FT) and at Washington State University are collaborating on chemical analysis of wafers in North Bend, Washington. Data from the July-August 2012 trial is complete and is currently being statistically analyzed. Data for the January-March Trial is still being collected.
From a worker safety, convenience, and economic standpoint, Farma Tech TMR Mallet solid wafers with Dichlorvos (DDVP) may be more cost effective, convenient, and safer to handle than current liquid lure and insecticide formulations (e.g. naled) used for detection programs for TML, ME and C-L responding flies in California. Cost/benefit analyses of Mallet TMR vs. standard trapping systems will be done. We will submit data obtained in these studies to action agencies to improve current trapping methods. Other countries such as New Zealand have begun investigating the FT Trilure dispensers based on our results.