Field efficacy of two densities of bait station devices vs Malathion used in bait sprays against the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Tunisian Citrus orchards
Abstract: Control of Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae), key insect pest in Tunisian Citrus fruits, has mainly relied to use of organophosphate malathion in protein bait sprays which do not promote the protection of the environment and human health. As an alternative to these insecticides, the attract-and-kill strategy with bait station technique was developed. In this study, a field trial was conducted in Citrus orchards to test efficacy of two densities (50 and 80 devices/ha) of Magnet-Med® bait station compared to bait spray treatments using organophosphate insecticides as aerial foliar sprays in reducing of medfly population density and fruit damage. Our results showed that, the numbers of C. capitata males was fivefold and twofold lower in plot treated with Magnet-Med bait station applied at density of 80 devices/ha than in plots treated with of Magnet-Med bait station applied at density of 50 devices/ha and plot treated with insecticides. Fruit damage rates were significantly lower in plots treated with Magnet-Med bait station used at both densities (50 and 80 device/ha) than in plot treated with bait sprays. Overall, the results indicate that Magnet-Med attract-and-kill bait stations, even if applied at low density, are useful alternatives to conventional insecticides for the control of medfly in Tunisian Citrus orchards and can be applied in an IPM program.