Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Mediterranean fruit fly bait stations

The Mediterranean fruit fly or Ceratitis capitata is one of the most destructive fruit pests in the garden at Towerwater.


An  adult Mediterranean fruit fly on a spoilt apple
I have learned to use the full description ‘Mediterranean fruit fly’ or Ceratitis capitata when I search for information on how to protect the garden from this pest.  I have discovered that if I only use the phrase fruit fly, I end up with information on how to control what I know as a ‘miggie’, the irritating little flies finding their way to the bowl of fruit in the house.


An adult Mediterranean fruit fly
The adult Mediterranean fruit fly lays its eggs under the skins of fruit. The eggs hatch within three days, and the larvae develop inside the fruit. Depending on temperature and food availability, maggots may stay from 5 to 10 days. When the larvae reach the next development stage, it will exit the fruit by making a small hole. It then falls to the ground where it starts to dig and then pupates centimetres underground. Depending on temperature, adults can emerge in as short as 7 days, ready to infest more fruit.


Ingredients for bait stations
I have made several fruit fly traps out of empty plastic 1.5 litre water bottles. I burnt four holes on opposite sides of the bottle, near the ‘shoulders’. The size of the holes should be 6 - 8mm.


Bait stations with mixes
I hung the traps at 1.5 - 2m above the ground in the fruit trees and Bougainvillea hedge where flies might shelter in winter.  Traps should be no more than 5 – 6m apart. If possible hang at least two homemade traps per tree.



I filled the traps to about one-third, using my four recipes between the arsenals of traps. I used the following recipes:

Solution 1
80 grams white sugar
1.5g dry brewer's yeast
920ml water
One drop of dishwashing liquid to break the water-surface ‘skin’. This prevents the fly from landing on the water surface and then flying away after feeding.

Solution 2
5ml vanilla essence
20ml cloudy ammonia
1L water
One drop of dishwashing liquid to break the water-surface ‘skin’. This prevents the fly from landing on the water surface and then flying away after feeding.

Solution 3
½ a cup of white sugar
5ml vanilla essence
30ml cloudy ammonia
1L water
One drop of dishwashing liquid to break the water-surface ‘skin’. This prevents the fly from landing on the water surface and then flying away after feeding.

Solution 4
2 teaspoons vegemite (Marmite)
½ a cup of white sugar
1L water
2 drops of commercial fruit fly poison dripped into each bait station.

Deployed bait stations
I have placed the bait stations in the trees directly after pruning to start monitoring the presence of fruit fly in the garden during winter and reducing their numbers in the low fruit season.

Deployed bait stations
With a smorgasbord of bait stations now deployed in the garden, I hope it will be the fruit flies’ deadly delicatessen.

2 comments:

Unknown said...

Thanks - it will be interesting to see which one is the most popular.

Thys said...

I am also curious to see which one is going to work the best. I will share the results.