Step 1 – Set your objectives
What is the outcome you want?
AWM can bring many benefits, so it is important to think about exactly what you want to achieve before embarking on a management program. Making this decision up-front allows you to plan effectively, measure your progress and review the impact of your program. Potential benefits for commercial growers include: supressing pests, reducing damaged fruit, reducing pesticide use, and reducing costs.
But whatever your objective, being able to monitor the progress of your program will help refine your approach as you go along. Good data collection will help show when you reach and consistently maintain an undetectable level of flies, but remember that under a regulated system for market access there may be additional regulations around monitoring requirements.
For example, reducing the fly population to a level that lets you use sterile insect technique (SIT) may be a key objective for you. In this case, knowing and demonstrating trap numbers will be important. Likewise, understanding the population dynamics of flies in your landscape over time will help you target SIT releases, because how effective such releases are depends on the capacity of the technology, and the dynamics of the wild flies over an area over time.
If suppressing pests is not your only objective, then consider how other goals are measured. For example: recording pesticide use, or recording yield damage due to Qfly.