Center for Plant Health Science and Technology
Fruit Fly Program
Location: 1730 Varsity Dr., Suite 400, Raleigh, NC 27606
Phone: (919) 855-7313
Fax: (919) 855-7480
Contact: Pat Gomes
The Fruit Fly Coordination Program supports the APHIS Fruit Fly Exclusion and Detection program’s major goal to “strengthen detection and response capabilities, preventative release programs, and control programs, to prevent exotic fruit fly populations from becoming established and/or spreading within the United States.” The CPHST Fruit Fly Program uses local program and international review recommendations to guide the development of methods support activities. Currently, the program is working on recommendations from expert reviews on APHIS fruit fly detection programs, fruit fly eclosion and release facilities, and the Lower Rio Grande Valley Eradication Project. CPHST has increased fruit fly program support by adding positions for a Fruit Fly Program Coordinator and Entomologist positions in the Eclosion and Release Centers in Sarasota, FL, and Los Alamitos, CA. The program has developed work plans that will address the science portions of the review recommendations as well as meet the local needs of the program experts in the area of fruit fly detection, control, and preventative releases against the major exotic fruit flies of concern.
- Developed the methods support to evaluate solid formulations of methyl eugenol and cue lure for purchasing contract purposes, which could garner large program savings and address safety concerns.
- Determined the efficacy of 3 and 2 component female trap lures for contract purposes and for direct comparison against Medfly and Anastrepha species.
- Determined that the use of the 3 component lure for program use in Florida is valid for their detection program targeting Medfly and also with Anastrepha species as a secondary concern.
- Determined that the Mexfly program in south Texas and northern Mexico could gain efficiency by adopting the 2 component solid formulation for contract purchases.
- Led the National Trapping Committee in the review and development of new traps and lures and the coordination of testing for new lures and new formulations of lures.
- Validated the program use of Ginger Root Oil as a tool for improved sterile male Medfly performance in sterile release facilities.
- Developed a prototype novel bait station that is effective, persistent, cheap, and can be used in environmentally sensitive areas with good results
- Developed the APHIS/Cooperator SIT Rearing and Eclosion Quality Assurance website for fruit fly rearing and release data compilation and analysis from all U.S. supported SIT facilities.
- Initiated and chaired the Rearing and Eclosion Working Group in order to analyze quality assurance data and to address review recommendations and quality control issues within this key program component.
- Developed a Black Pupae Strain for Mexican Fruit Fly release programs that could eliminate the release of females and provide much increased program efficiency in the Mexfly Eradication program.
- Conducted sterile male competitive testing with wild fruit flies in Guatemala and Texas (under quarantine) for medfly and Mexfly to ensure program effectiveness.
- Developed microbial identification and decontamination procedures in the Mexican Fruit Fly Rearing Facility in Mission, TX that vastly improved the mass rearing of these insects in this facility.
- Initiated the Anastrepha Molecular ID Project for passenger baggage for improved pathway analysis.
- Validated different rates of Spinosad GF-120 in the Moscamed GAP program, which led to the program adoption of lower application rates and resulted in large cost savings.
- Tested and validated the use of a new double-box release machine for the Lower Rio Grande Valley Mexfly eradication project that will result in significant program savings and flight time.
- Developed methodology to evaluate sterile to wild over-flooding ratios in the Guatemala Moscamed program that allowed more efficient utilization of the sterile Medfly resources within the Moscamed Barrier program.