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Title: Efficacy of wax matrix bait stations for Mediterranean Fruit Flies (Diptera: Tephritidae)

item Epsky, Nancy
item MIDGARDEN, DAVID - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item RENDON, PEDRO - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item VILLATORO, DAVID - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item Heath, Robert

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/9/2011
Publication Date: 6/1/2012
Citation: Epsky, N.D., Midgarden, D., Rendon, P., Villatoro, D., Heath, R.R. 2012. Efficacy of wax matrix bait stations for Mediterranean Fruit Flies (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 105(2):471-479.

Interpretive Summary: Mediterranean fruit flies (medflies) pose a serious threat to fruit and vegetable production worldwide. An alternative to pesticide bait spray application for medfly population suppression and eradication is the development of bait stations, defined as discrete containers of attractants and toxins that target specific pests. Scientists at the Subtropical Horticulture Research Station in collaboration with USDA/APHIS scientists in Guatemala developed and tested wax matrix bait stations for medfly control. Bait station strips containing a feeding cue, attractant and toxicant caused higher mortality than toxicant-free controls in laboratory and field cage tests conducted in Guatemala. Field tests that used wax matrix with feeding cue and toxicant applied to the edges of commercial synthetic food-based lures demonstrated that bait stations remained effectiveness against medflies for at least eight weeks. The availability of medfly 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: Tests were conducted that evaluated efficacy of wax matrix bait stations for Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) adults in Guatemala. Bait stations were exposed to outdoor conditions to determine effect of weathering on longevity as indicated by bait station age. Results of laboratory tests found that bait stations with spinosad and ammonium acetate remained effective for at least 31 d compared to pesticide-free controls, although there was some lose of efficacy over time. Percentage mortality for bait station strips with 2% spinosad and 1% ammonium acetate decreased from 100 ± 0.0% on day zero to 70 ± 7.1 % after 31 d. Ammonia concentration had little effect on percentage mortality although there was some indication that ammonia concentration affected number of flies observed on the bait stations. Bait station strips (one per cage) were more effective than controls for 6-8 wk when tests were conducted in field cages (3 m diam by 2 m), but only 2-3 wk when tests were conducted in large (2.5 m high and 6.0 m wide and 7.5 m long) field cages. Longevity was restored when multiple bait stations (3, 6 or 12) were deployed per cage. Bait stations containing methomyl were used for field tests of efficacy for wild flies. Dipped lure bait stations, which were made by coating two edges commercial ammonium acetate and trimethylamine lures, killed six times more flies than corn cob bait stations dipped into a Nulure/malathion solution. They also killed more flies than pesticide-free controls for 8 wk.