ARS patents new fruit fly lure and trap.
The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service estimates that the medfly -- not counting the damage inflicted by other fruit flies -- would generate agricultural losses of about $1.5 billion a year if it were to become established in the continental United States. Those losses would be the result of export sanctions, lost markets, treatment costs, reduced crop yields, deformities and premature fruit drop.
The chemical stimulus in the new "McPhail" trap is derived from three chemicals that have been isolated from food baits: ammonia, putrescine and trimethylamine. The chemicals lure the flies into the trap, where they are retained and induced to feed on a panel that contains a feeding stimulant and toxicant.
The cylindrical shape of the trap provides the visual stimulus by mimicking the three-dimensionality of host fruit. Clear panels at the top and bottom take advantage of the flies' instinctive desire to move towards light, where a lethal sugary toxicant awaits them.
The adult female medfly damages ripe fruit by making a hole and depositing her eggs under the skin of the fruit. Once the larvae hatch, they begin to feed on the pulp inside the fruit, rendering it unfit for human consumption.
As early as 1929, the Mediterranean fruit fly -- Ceratitis capitata -- had made its mark in fruit orchards in Florida. After apparently being eradicated, it was spotted again in 1956. Since then, periodic infestations have occurred in Florida, California and Texas.
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|Title Annotation:||Agricultural Research Service, "McPhail" trap|
|Publication:||Resource: Engineering & Technology for a Sustainable World|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2001|
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