Fruit flies (Tephritidae: Diptera) are among the most destructive and economic pests of horticultural crops. They infest and destroy a wide range of fruits. Bactrocera dorsalis Hendel is an emerging threat to the export of Pakistani citrus fruits to overseas markets. Integrated pest management (IPM) is an appropriate and sustainable strategy for controlling fruit flies as it is based on integrated application of all available pest control methods with minimum implication of hazardous synthetic insecticides. In this study, five treatments including field sanitation (T1), pheromone-based attract and kill strategy (T2), protein-based bait method (T3), combination of all three methods (T4) and control (T5) were evaluated against B. dorsalis infestation in citrus during 2015 and 2016. Data of percent infested fallen fruits, percent pupae recovered from these fallen fruits, percent adult deformity, percent sex ratio and cost-benefit ratio were recorded. Results showed that when all of the components were used together (T4), fruit damage was significantly reduced remained 0.32 to 0.49% in both years. In addition, T5 (control) plots where no IPM treatments were applied showed highest number of infected fruits (3.06 to 4.59%) in both years. Moreover cost-benefit ratio was lowest for the combined treatment (T4) during both years i.e., 2.7:1 for 2015 and 3.08:1 for 2016 as compared to other treatments. Overall results of this field trial demonstrate the significance of integrated pest management strategies in reducing the fruit flies infestation and enhancing citrus fruit yield.
Novelty Statement | This field study demonstrates the practical significance of integrating different pest management techniques, i.e. field sanitation practices, installation of methyl eugenol pheromone based male fly trapping and application of protein hydrolyzate based female fly trapping baits, for the management of fruit fly infestation in citrus orchards. Combination of these IPM strategies significantly reduced fruit infestation and enhanced fruit yield.