Step 5 – Start locally, then expand
While having the whole area involved is ideal, you do not have to wait for this to happen before starting change. Controlling the fruit fly on your own property is the first place to begin.
As growers, talk to your closest neighbours and make sure they are aware of the various management tools available, the seasonal patterns (based on your monitoring), and the importance of acting together to match treatments to pest biology.
The main problem with highly mobile insect pests is that they do not stop at property borders. This means they will start to forage at scales larger than single properties. Therefore, to achieve effective pest suppression, you cannot stop at property borders either. Area-wide management is most successful when it includes all potential habitats in an area.
Coordinated efforts to reduce the number of female flies in the early spring population can drastically reduce fly numbers over the current season and the next. Work with those around you to take a year-round approach. Early crops should be managed post-harvest to prevent the next generation of flies emerging and heading for the late crops. Late crops should be managed post-harvest to reduce the number of flies overwintering and then heading to the early crops. Area-wide management is most successful when it includes all potential resources in an area.
There are 2 key recommendations:
- increase growers adopting best management practices (such as MAT, baits and hygiene)
- include non-commercial areas in the management actions (especially urban spaces).
Your success in suppressing pests will be dependent on the adoption rate and the landscape context. In areas that have (or support) higher fly numbers, management adoption has to be higher to achieve the same suppression (successive host-use).