Late foliage baiting urged for fruit fly

The West Australian
Dr Sonja Broughton.
Camera IconDr Sonja Broughton. Credit: DAFWA

Fruit growers are encouraged to continue with strict orchard hygiene and late foliage baiting to reduce the impact of Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) for next season's crop.

Autumn is a period when growers must remain vigilant against fruit fly, particularly if they produce apples and pears.

Research conducted by the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) indicates that Medfly numbers start to increase in April, peaking in May.

The most likely reason for this is due to a decrease in peak day time temperatures which increases the chance of survival compared with the summer period.

Senior Research Officer Sonya Broughton said DAFWA research in Jarrahdale and Pickering Brook had demonstrated that Medfly could survive as larvae in apples over winter as these fruits do not break down.

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"Studies of what fruits are available to Medfly throughout the year have shown that adults also use citrus as an overwintering shelter," Dr Broughton said.

"Strict orchard hygiene coupled withlate foliage baiting is necessary during autumn as these flies are the source of the following season's infestations."

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