Attraction of bait and insecticide formulations to Rhago/etis mendax (Diptera: Tephritidae) Flies: Behavioral observations under Laboratory and Field Conditions
Steep, Stacey A.
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R. mendax, or the blueberry fruit fly, is a significant pest for blueberry growers. Needing to adhere to trade regulations and consumer demands, research has moved away from organophosphates, such as Malathion, to more environmentally and health conscious pesticide options. One such option is GF- 120, which uses spinosad, a chemical derived from the soil bacteria Saccharopolyspora spinosa. This study investigated ways to increase attraction of GF-120 through the use of gluten. Both laboratory and field observations were used to determine any changes in fruit fly behavior when exposed to GF-120 variations. Behavior observed included feeding events, location of fly in field and field activity such as mating, feeding, static or moving. Laboratory studies found gluten had the lowest feeding levels for both fresh and aged trials. Gluten did not increase attraction of GF-120, but it did suggest the possibility of use for durability in natural conditions. GF-120 formulations were tested in the field with little change in fly behavior. While the results of this study were not necessarily conclusive, experiments do suggest future directions for non-organophosphate pesticides and sustainable pest management.