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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Medfly' Category


Biological Control for Fruit Flies Effective in Vineyards

(Beyond Pesticides, December 13, 2007) New research shows that farmers and vineyard owners may be able to add another safe, environmentally-friendly weapon to their pest management arsenal. A commonly used parasitoid, or parasitic insect that kills its host, has proven to be quite effective in the control of fruit flies in vineyards. These tiny pest-devouring insects are considered to be powerful “biocontrol agents” since they reduce the dependency on chemical pest management applications. Jean Pierre Kapongo, Ph.D., an entomologist specializing in environmental health at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, recently published the results of a research study that will aid vintners and fruit farmers in their ability to produce healthier crops. According to Kapongo, vineyard owners and farmers can now control fruit flies (Ceratitis capitata) with Muscidifurax raptor, a parasitic wasp currently used in the control of other types of pests, including other species of flies. The study investigated the use of Muscidifurax raptor to control fruit flies in vineyards. Until recently, fruit flies have usually been controlled with chemical insecticides, biopesticides and selected natural enemies. For instance, to control a recent Medfly infestation in California, local agencies used a pesticide derived from spinosad, a naturally occurring extract […]



Medflies Found in California Prompt Quick Action

(Beyond Pesticides, September 17, 2007) Mediterranean fruit flies were discovered last week in Dixon, California, and federal, state, and county agencies rushed to respond with traps, biopesticide treatment, and sterile mates to prevent the insect from infesting local agriculture. A total of eight Medflies have been found so far, and the three-pronged attack started with an effort to monitor the presence of the Medfly. California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) employees have placed 1,700 fruit fly-targeted detection traps in an 81-square-mile grid. Next, residents within 200 meters of the original finding had their yards treated with the organic compound Naturalyte, the active ingredient of which is spinosad, a naturally occurring extract from bacteria. The pesticide, made by Dow, is approved for use on organic crops, yet the vast majority of its ingredients (so-called “inerts”) are not disclosed. As another biological control, more than 3 million sterile male flies were released last Friday in a 12-square-mile area around Dixon. The sterile males will be deployed on a weekly basis to mate with wild females, helping to eradicate the Medfly population. This is the first Medfly case in Solano County, according to county agriculture officials. Agriculture Commissioner Jerry Howard said that […]