Do You Have Fruit Flies?

December 1, 2010 at 9:51 am Leave a comment


Have you noticed lots of small flies around your garden? They look harmless to you but they can ruin your crops without you knowing it. Female flies lay eggs on your fruits and vegetables and the tiny larvae tunnel inside leaving just a pin prick on the surface.

Last month in the school garden, we installed a few fruit fly traps. In just a few weeks, we have captured hundreds of Oriental fruit flies. Many people don’t realize they have a fruit fly issue but it is predominate throughout Hawaii.
In South Maui we observe the Oriental Fruit fly and the Melon Fly. The Oriental Fruit fly thrives on hosts of starfruit, breadfruit, citrus, papaya, guava and mango but also impacts many other fruits! The Melon Fly hosts include cucumber, eggplant, guava, tomatoes and squashes. It is easy to make traps from reused 2-liter water bottles and a "lure" that can be purchased from CTAHR or some landscape supply stores.

We’ll be making some more Oriental Fruit Fly traps (and Melon if we can find lures) at our next Work and Learn day on Dec 11 at Kihei Elementary. Bring a couple 2-liter bottles down and we’ll get you started with a trap or two.

Traps are just part of a complete fruit fly program. Sanitation to remove infested fruit is critical; if your compost pile is hot that will work but otherwise put fruit in thick plastic bags. Fruit fly life cycles are very short (1-5 weeks) so don’t let fruit lie on the ground for long. Protein Baits can be sprayed that attract and poison flies; organic options are available. To get complete training on fruit fly suppression, contact the CTAHR office at 808-244-3242 ext 232. They offer training about once a month. We are working to schedule training with one of our "Work and Learn Days" next year so keep your eyes posted.

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Entry filed under: Gardening & Agriculture, Gardening Tips, Newsletters. Tags: , , , , .

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