Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #395196

Research Project: Integrated Approach to Manage the Pest Complex on Temperate Tree Fruits

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Title: Evaluation of organic, food-grade hydrophobic coatings for suppressing oviposition and increasing mortality of western cherry fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae)

item Yee, Wee
item KAISER, CLIVE - Lincoln University - New Zealand

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/16/2022
Publication Date: 5/24/2022
Citation: Yee, W.L., Kaiser, C. 2022. Evaluation of organic, food-grade hydrophobic coatings for suppressing oviposition and increasing mortality of western cherry fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae). Environmental Entomology. Article nvac033.

Interpretive Summary: In the Pacific Northwest of the USA, western cherry fruit fly is a quarantine pest of cherry. The fly is controlled using insecticides, but newer methods for control would help reduce insecticide input into the environment. One such method is the use of organic coatings sprayed on cherries to prevent or reduce egg laying by the fly into the fruit. Personnel at the USDA Temperate Tree Fruit & Vegetable Research Laboratory in Wapato, WA and Oregon State University and Lincoln University in New Zealand determined the effects of organic, food-grade coatings on reducing egg laying by flies in cherries in the laboratory and field. It was found that the coatings reduced egg laying by >90% versus controls in the laboratory and reduced larval infestations by >90% in the field. Results are important in that they identify an organic product that could potentially be used for fly control while reducing the need for extensive insecticide use.

Technical Abstract: Newer organic options for protecting fruit from tephritid fruit fly attack are needed to reduce extensive insecticide use. Here, we evaluated organic, food-grade hydrophobic coatings that help protect sweet cherries (Prunus avium L.) from water-induced cracking for suppressing attack on cherries by western cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis indifferens Curran (Diptera: Tephtitidae), as well as for their effects on fly mortality. Three formulations of coatings called HydroShield 13.20, 13.22, and 13.28 that form invisible elastic barriers on cherries and that consist of complex carbohydrates, fatty acids and occlusive agents, solvents, emulsifiers, emollients, surfactants, and other ingredients were tested. In the laboratory, fly visits on and oviposition in HydroShield-coated cherries were 66.1-92.8% and 59.1-99.5% lower, respectively, than in controls. The mean number of dead female flies exposed to HydroShield-coated cherries was 69.4-94.6% greater than of females exposed to control cherries. In the field, three sprays of HydroShield 13.22 and 13.20 on sweet cherry trees in 2020, when fly densities were high, reduced larval infestations in cherries by 32.1% and 31.8%, respectively. In the field in 2021, when fly densities were lower, three sprays of HydroShield 13.22 and 13.28 reduced infestations in cherries by 90.5% and 86.8%, respectively, but sprays also reduced cherry size and toughened cherries. HydroShield formulations show promise in protecting sweet cherry from attack by R. indifferens, but further testing is needed to improve formulations so that they suppress fly oviposition without affecting cherry quality.