BAPHIQ Urges Farmers to Take Actions against Oriental Fruit Fly
July 18th, 2006
Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) urges local fruit growers to take control of the Oriental fruit fly collectively by applying fly trapping boards to suppress its population during summer when the fly is most active. Farmers in Tainan, Kahsung, and Pingdong areas where higher fly activity has been reported are especially advised to take all necessary precautions and carry out control measures timely to prevent economic loss.
BAPHIQ said that a total of 120,000 hectares of fruit growing areas located in 160 townships across seventeen counties are included in the 2006 national fruit fly control program Subsidies are partially provided for purchasing fly trapping boards. Farmers are urged to pick up naled-intoxicated methyl eugenol trapping boards at local farmers’ association as soon as possible. The boards should then be hung around fruit orchards immediately. The trapping boards work best in shaded areas 150cm above ground, with 4-6 boards per hectare. They should avoid direct sunlight and should be replaced every two months.
Oriental fruit fly is the most destructive insect pest of many fruit crops in Taiwan. Fruit fly infestations occur year round, with up to eight or nine generations per year, and the fly can cause damage to more than 30 kinds of fruits. Female oriental fruit flies lay eggs under the skin of host fruits. These eggs hatch into larvae tunnel through the flesh of the fruit, not only resulting in fruit rot and fallen fruits, but also severely affecting fruit quality and yield hence making it the limiting factor of fruit export. In Taiwan all economic fruit crops are susceptible to the Oriental fruit fly except for pineapple and coconut. Without effective control, the Oriental fruit fly may cause up to 30% fruit damage, or the damage may reach 100% in highly susceptible fruit crops such as guava.
BAPHIQ monitors fly population year round at 61 monitoring stations operated by the Agricultural Research Institute of the Council of Agriculture. Information of updates on fly population are sent out to local plant protection agencies, and farmers, associations every 10 days for distributing further to the local government officials, extension workers and farmers. BAPHIQ has predicted fly population growth this summer due to likely increase of fallen fruits caused by this year’s excessive rain. Thus, BAPHIQ urges orchard growers nationwide to apply methyl eugenol trapping boards to control fly population at the earliest time BAPHIQ stresses that the trapping boards are effective in suppressing fly population because they attract male fruit flies and therefore reduce success of mating. This is a method adopted internationally and its effectiveness is also highly recognized. Orchards located in high risk areas may consider adding food attractants comprised of protein hydrolysates or fresh guava juice as poison bait. To improve trapping methodology, BAPHIQ has commissioned researchers to develop alternatives for trapping board. Research results will be commercialized by technology transfer to the private sector.
BAPHIQ points out further that there are thirty Crop Pest Diagnosis Service Stations located throughout Taiwan for providing farmers diagnosis services and technical support. If farmers have questions about fruit fly control or other diseases and pests, they can go to the nearby station to get assistance. Farmers may also contact the experts in the station through BAPHIQ’s free service hotline 0800-069-880 for assistance.