Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Chemosterilants as control agents of Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) in field trials.

Abstract

Lufenuron is a chitin synthesis inhibitor, which is able to impede Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), reproduction. In laboratory trials, following ingestion of lufenuron, the eggs laid by female Ceratitis capitata were prevented from hatching. In field trials in Valencia, Spain, lufenuron showed its effectiveness by reducing C. capitata wild populations and its continuous application to several generations of fruit fly resulted in increased pest control. This field trial was conducted in an isolated valley some 80 ha in size, over a continuous four-year period. In order to maintain the sterilizing effect in the field throughout the whole year, a new lufenuron bait gel was developed. This bait gel was introduced in to delta traps suspended in trees at a density of 24 traps ha-1, and these traps were replaced once a year during the field trial. Monitoring of the adult C. capitata population was conducted to assess the effects of the chemosterilant treatment. In the first year of treatment with sterilizing traps, a reduction of the C. capitata population was observed, indicating that the traps reduce the population right from the first generation. In the second, third and fourth years, a continuous and progressive reduction of the adult Mediterranean fruit fly population was observed. Therefore, the successive application of chemosterilization treatment has a cumulative effect on reducing the fly population year after year. Aerial treatment using malathion does not produce this cumulative effect, and consequently every year it is necessary to start again with the same number of flies as the year before. The possibility of using the chemosterilant method alone or combined with the sterile insect technique is discussed.