The fruitfly Menace

If you have been seeing small flies or gnats in your kitchen, they’re probably fruit flies. These pesky pests can be found throughout the world, in homes, gardens, warehouse, grocery stores, wineries, restaurants, etc. They are readily attached to any number of materials, especially that of moisture. Fruit flies can be a problem year round but are especially common during late summer/fall because they are attracted to ripened or fermenting fruits and vegetables.

But they also will breed in drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash containers, mops and cleaning rags. Hence, they also cause various bacterial diseases.

Fruit flies damage the larger proportion of agricultural production and even to crops grown in the gardens which are susceptible to attack by fruitflies. Commercial producers spend hundreds of millions of dollars on control measures and also suffered production losses.

Tomatoes, melons, mangoes, squash, grapes and other perishable items are often the cause of an infestation. Fruit flies are also attracted to rotting bananas, potatoes, onions and other products.

You see, when the fruit is overripe or starts to go bad it begins to ferment, producing alcohol, which attracts fruit flies. They continue to gobble up the fermenting fruit, and in the process, lay hundreds of eggs which hatch into larvae in mere hours.

Female fruit fly lay their eggs into healthy, ripening fruit on the tree. Fruit flies lay their eggs up to 500 at a time! When the larvae hatch, they feed on the moist surface too.  The entire life cycle from egg to adult takes only about eight to ten days so they proliferate with great rapidity.

Although fruit flies don’t bite humans (they actually don’t have any teeth), many people are allergic to the bacteria they carry, resulting in tiny red bumps on the skin.

Let us look at some evidences of damage done to fruits by these pesky little fruitflies:

Kenyan farmers battle fruit-fly menace as climate warms

by Caroline Wambui | Thomson Reuters Foundation

Sunday, 12 April 2020

As the planet heats up, growing pest numbers threaten Kenya’s lucrative mango, avocado and other fruit crops

KIRWIRE VILLAGE, Kenya, April 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Gideon Gitonga inspected his avocado orchard in central Kenya with military precision, revealing that some of the fruit were tinged with a worryingly familiar yellow colour.

Yet again, it was the same culprits attacking his crop on the farm in Kirwire village in Meru County: fruit flies.

“Most of the fruits you see with a ripening colour are not ripe,” he said. “(They) have been punctured by fruit flies and are in the process of rotting and eventually falling off.”

As the planet’s climate heats up, rising temperatures have driven a massive increase in Kenya’s fruit fly population, say agricultural experts.

Farmers in fruit fly-infested areas are losing on average up to half their crops each year to the tiny pests, said Onesmus Mwaura, a research assistant at the Nairobi-based International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE).

Fruit-fly damage costs farmers an estimated 50 billion Kenyan shillings ($472 million) every year, according to the government’s Horticultural Crops Directorate.

Fruit fly costs New Zealand ‘about $1 million’ and could pose risk to trade

Ryan Anderson and Matthew Rosenberg, February 17 2019

The Minister of Biosecurity has put the cost of a single fruit fly at “about $1 million”, and says it could be weeks before the saga wraps up.

On February 14, Devonport on Auckland’s North Shore was put into a fruit and vegetable lockdown after the discovery of a male Queensland fruit fly.

Since then, the Ministry for Primary Industries has allocated 60 staff, up from the original 55, to help with the search and the setting of traps.

The current insecticides are being used to control this menace. However besides being toxic and harmful insecticides kill the species. Repeated exposure to insecticides builds up resistance in insects, until finally the insecticide has little or no effect. Frequent insecticide applications make the problem worse.

C Tech Corporation offers a range of extremely low toxic and extremely low hazard insect aversive repellent, which can be successfully used to keep pesky creatures at bay. TermirepelTM can be easily described as an insect aversive repellent, used against all types of insects and which works on the mechanism of repellency. It means that it does not kill the target insects but only repel them, thus balancing the ecology and helping in maintaining the goal of sustainability.

TermirepelTM masterbatch can be incorporated in agricultural films, mulches, grain bags, protective coverings, etc. during processing. TermirepelTM liquid concentrate which can be mixed in paints in a predetermined ratio can be applied to fencing and garbage bins.

TermirepelTM lacquer can be applied topically on the applications. It does not volatilize and does not degrade the soil. It is RoHS, RoHS2, RoHS3, EU BPR, NEA, REACH compliant and FIFRA exempted.

Contact us if you are facing problems against these pesky little fruit flies and other insects also against rodents and other aggressive animals!

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