How do you know if your control strategies are working?
Monitoring for fruit fly on your farm is essential in knowing when the flies are active and if your control strategies are helping to reduce fruit fly numbers.
An increase in fly numbers means you will need to apply another control measure (i.e. bait-spray).
A decline in numbers means your controls are working.
It is important to start monitoring at least 6-8 weeks before harvest. This is so that you have a chance of reducing the fly population while the fruit is hard and green and before it is susceptible to being stung.
When to start monitoring?
Work out your expected harvest date
Calculate 6 to 8 weeks before harvest - this is when you need to start monitoring
You can move monitoring traps around your property depending on the different ripening dates.
Example monitoring schedules for different crops:
Where to place monitoring traps?
Install monitoring traps where the flies are most likely to enter your property including: sheds; wind breaks; boundary fence lines; host trees; house gardens; water bodies (channels or dams).
Example monitoring plans for commercial crops:
It is useful to use both protein gel (food-based to attract hungry juvenile flies) traps and parapheromone (sex attractant to attract male flies) traps for monitoring.
Food-based traps will identify fly activity over-winter and early in spring before the flies are sexually mature.
Pheromone traps target sexually mature male flies. If these traps are catching lots of flies it means the flies are looking for a mate to reproduce. After mating the female fly will want to lay her eggs so if you see flies you need to be ready to spray immediately.