Mango Research Station (MRS) scientists have warned that ready-to-harvest crops are infested with fruit flies in various parts of the state (Bactrocera dorsalis)Adding the pest infestation will significantly lower the yield if appropriate measures are not taken.
Speak with The HinduThe main scientist of the MRS, B. Kanaka Mahalakshmi, says fruit fly is one of the deadliest pests, severely damaging crops.
“The majority of mango growers suffer from lower yields due to fruit flies, and the damage accounts for around 27% to 42% of the crop loss. In Andhra Pradesh a loss of up to 48% has been noted if appropriate measures are not taken. It also depends on the variety of mangoes grown, ”she says.
However, the cultivators of Rasaalu, Panukulu, and other early cultivars are less affected by the pest. However, farmers who have grown varieties like Banginapalli and Totapuri could suffer losses if the harvest season starts from April or May, she explains.
The expert says that using chemicals to control mango fruit flies is harmful to consumers as it leaves toxic residue on fruit. Therefore, the MRS promoted the pheromone trap technique to control the infestation.
Using the man-made methyl eugenol bait, which mimics the smell of the sex pheromone found on female nudes, is the best option for luring male flies into traps, she says. Early detection and effective countermeasures can save the harvest. Farmers tend to ignore the fallen fruit that fruit flies come from. Collecting and disposing of the fallen and infested fruit would reduce susceptibility.
Ms. Kanaka Mahalakshmi says that some farmers use a mixture of jaggery and malathion to attract fruit flies and that this gives better results, the expert says.
The scientist says that plowing the gaps in the orchard during the summer exposes fly puparias to the sun and kills them. When the mango season is over, these flies move to other fruits and vegetables, such as guava, citrus, plums, peaches, sapota, etc., are also susceptible to this pest infestation.