Skip to main content
ARS Home » News & Events » News Articles » Research News » 2004 » Senior Gardeners Helping to Save Hawaiian Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
ARS News and InformationSearch News and InfoScience for KidsImage GalleryAgricultural Research MagazinePublications and NewslettersNews ArchiveNews and Info homeARS News and Information
Latest news | Subscribe

Photo: Ecologist Hannah Revis (right) shows Lucy Pasco how to use fruit fly monitoring traps in her garden. Link to photo information
Ecologist Hannah Revis (right) shows Lucy Pasco how to use fruit fly monitoring traps in her garden.  Click the image for more information about it.

Read the magazine story to find out more.

Senior Gardeners Helping to Save Hawaiian Agriculture

By Kim Kaplan
February 17, 2004

Hawaiian senior citizens who garden are helping the state's farmers solve a big pest problem--controlling foreign fruit flies that devastate the harvest for every grower, large and small.

The Agricultural Research Service is leading a cooperative effort in Hawaii to suppress Mediterranean, Oriental, Malaysian and melon fruit flies that lay eggs in and damage more than 400 fruits and vegetables, many of which are raised by backyard gardeners.

An area-wide fruit fly control program, led by the ARS U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo, Hawaii, in cooperation with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and University of Hawaii, has been having remarkable success suppressing these tiny but terrible pests among large and small commercial growers in Hawaii.

But home gardens often act as reservoirs of fruit flies, and achieving real control requires preventing these reservoirs from supplying new generations of the pests.

For this reason, ARS researcher Hannah Revis began meeting with the Kohala Senior Citizens Club, many of whom are avid gardeners and who were willing to be cooperators in a fruit fly control pilot test and then to demonstrate the system to other gardeners. Revis is teaching them how to apply the control program, which relies primarily on a system of field sanitation, biological controls and traps with lures, rather than on chemical insecticides.

You can read more about the fruit fly control research in the February issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.

Top|News Staff|Photo Staff

E-mail the web teamPrivacy and other policiesSite mapAbout ARS Information StaffBottom menu

Home | News | Pubs | Magazine | Photos | Sci4Kids | Search
About ARS Info | Site map | Policies | E-mail us