Step 8 – Evaluate your progress
Whatever objective you set at the beginning of the program, collecting data along the way helps you see where things are working. Monitoring refers not only to monitoring the fly population, but also monitoring the impacts of your program. This involves you systematically collecting data about the activities you have undertaken (for example: the number of sprays required each season, or timing of spring emergence with weather records and notes each year).
Reviewing data collected can also help inform you about the changes required to the program. For example, if a consistent ‘hotspot’ is revealed (and needs extra effort), or a new hotspot shows up.
Quantifying progress can then help you decide if you are ready to use SIT. The scale at which SIT is effective will depend on sources of Qfly around you.
If you have a property that is isolated (more than about 2 kilometres) from other hosts, then you might consider applying SIT at the scale of your property. But if you are part of a larger production area, then you and your neighbours will need to work together to reduce Qfly numbers – if you can all be confident in consistently low numbers, then SIT may be an option for you. And remember, if there are urban spaces around you, it will be important that these are also managed for SIT to be most effective.