Andhra Pradesh

Scientists issue alert over fruit fly infestation in mango

The scientists of Mango Research Station (MRS) have warned that ready-to harvest crop in different parts of the State have been infested with fruit flies (Bactrocera dorsalis), adding the pest attack will bring down the yield significantly if proper measures are not taken.

Speaking to The Hindu, MRS principal scientist B. Kanaka Mahalakshmi says fruit fly is one of the deadliest pests that causes extensive damage to crops.

“A majority of mango-growers are suffering from lower yield due to fruit flies and the damage accounts for about 27% to 42 % of loss in the harvest. In Andhra Pradesh, the loss has been found to be up to 48% if proper measures are no taken. It also depends upon the variety of mango grown,” she says.

The cultivators of rasaalu, panukulu, and other early varieties are, however, less affected by the pest. But, the farmers who have grown varieties such as Banginapalli and Totapuri may suffer losses as the harvesting period begion from April or May, she explains.

The expert says that the use of chemicals to control mango fruit fly is harmful to consumers as it leaves toxic residue on fruits. So, the MRS has been promoting pheromone trap technique to check the infestation.

Early detection

Using the methyl eugenol lure, which is artificially made and mimics the smell of the sex pheromone of the female files, is the best option to lure male flies into traps, she says. Early detection and effective countermeasures can save the crop. The farmers tend to ignore the fallen fruits, which are the source of fruit flies. Collecting the fallen and infested fruits and disposing them would reduce the susceptibility.

Ms. Kanaka Mahalakshmi says that some farmers use jaggery and malathion mixture to attract fruit flies and it is yielding better results, the expert says.

The scientist says that ploughing the interspaces in the orchard during the summer exposes fly puparia to the sun and kills them. When the mango season is over, these flies move to other fruits and vegetablessuch as guava, citrus, plum, peach, sapota and etc are also susceptible to this pest attack.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 3:40:02 AM |

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