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Title: Laboratory and field cage studies on female-targeted attract-and-kill bait stations for Anastrepha suspensa (Diptera: Tephritidae)

item Heath, Robert
item Schnell, Elena
item Midgarden, David
item Epsky, Nancy

Submitted to: Pest Management Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/4/2008
Publication Date: 5/1/2009
Citation: Heath, R.R., Lavallee, S.L., Schnell, E.Q., Midgarden, D.G., Epsky, N.D. 2009. Laboratory and field cage studies on female-targeted attract-and-kill bait stations for Anastrepha suspensa (Diptera: Tephritidae). Pest Management Science. 65:672-677.

Interpretive Summary: Many tephritid fruit flies pose a serious threat to fruit and vegetable production and export worldwide. Current techniques for tephritid population suppression and eradication include ground and aerial bait application, but there are public concern regarding environmental effects and adverse effects on non-target organisms with insecticidal bait sprays. Therefore scientists at the Subtropical Horticultural Research Station developed a formulation to be used for bait stations, defined as discrete containers of attractants and toxins that target specific pests, for tephritid control. The formulation includes a matrix consisting on a wax, a hardener and an emulsifier that can be used with a variety of insecticides and other additives to provide visual cues, feeding stimulants and attractants. Laboratory and field tests with the Caribbean fruit in Florida demonstrated that the bait stations are attractive for and can be used to kill these fruit flies, and that bait stations remain effective for at least two months even when exposed to outdoor conditions. The availability of fruit fly bait stations will afford an additional tool for use in developing management strategies for these invasive pests. They may be used by homeowners, commercial growers and action agencies to provide an alternative to broadcast pesticide application.

Technical Abstract: A matrix was developed for use as a base for bait station for pest tephritid fruit flies. The matrix consists of a wax, a hardener and emulsifier, and can be used with a variety of insecticides and other additives. Bait stations were formed into plugs to approximate a sphere shape or into strips of approximate a leaf shape. Additionally, green food coloring was added as a visual cue, corn syrup and sugar were incorporated as feeding stimulants, and ammonium acetate added as an attractant. Tests were conducted in Florida with adult females of the Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa (Loew). Laboratory bioassays confirmed that bait stations containing avermectin, methomyl, spinosad and phloxine B killed more female A. suspensa than bait stations with triguard or without insecticide (control). The addition of 4% ammonium acetate to bait station plugs resulted in attraction equivalent to a commercially available controlled release system when field tested in wild populations of A. suspensa. There was no difference in mortality with bait station plugs versus bait station strips. Field cage studies demonstrated significant mortality occurred when A. suspensa were exposed to bait stations containing either 1% spinosad or 1% methomyl compared to bait stations without a toxicant. Bait stations used in these tests were exposed to environmental conditions by placing them in trees at the ARS station in Miami, FL, between tests. There was no loss in efficacy despite exposure to over 360 mm of rainfall over the 56 d of the study, indicating that the bait stations could provide population suppression for at least one to two months when used in tropical and subtropical environments.