Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #196805


item Thomas, Donald
item Robacker, David

Submitted to: Subtropical Plant Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/18/2006
Publication Date: 12/4/2006
Citation: Thomas, D.B., Robacker, D.C. 2006. Trapping for Mexican fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) with torula yeast and propylene glycol. Subtropical Plant Science. 58:24-26.

Interpretive Summary: In south Texas, anti-freeze is added to the liquid bait, a watery solution of yeast, in surveillance traps for fruit fly pests of citrus. The anti-freeze contains alcohol and helps to better preserve the insects caught in the trap. A series of tests were conducted in Texas and in Mexico that resulted in a roughly equal number of flies captured with or without the anti-freeze added. Results varied depending on the weather and whether the flies were fertile or sterile. Sterilized flies are released in Texas as part of a program to prevent reproduction by wild flies. The traps consistently caught more females than males, with or without the anti-freeze.

Technical Abstract: In south Texas, propylene glycol is added to the liquid bait (an aqueous slurry of torula yeast) in surveillance traps for exotic fruit flies to better preserve captured specimens. In a series of tests in Texas and Mexico, overall captures of Mexican fruit flies were roughly the same in traps with or without the additive. Inconsistency in the results are attributed to variables, including the reproductive status of the flies (sterile vs. fertile), and seasonal climatic differences during the experiments. There was also a general trend towards a female bias in captures both with and without the additive.