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Following oviposition there may be some necrosis around the puncture mark ('sting'). This is followed by decomposition of the fruit.
Many countries, such as the mainland USA, forbid the import of susceptible fruit without strict post-harvest treatment having been applied by the exporter. This may involve fumigation, heat treatment (hot vapour or hot water), cold treatments, insecticidal dipping, or irradiation (Armstrong and Couey, 1989). Irradiation is not accepted in most countries and many have now banned methyl bromide fumigation. Heat treatment tends to reduce the shelf life of most fruits and so the most effective method of regulatory control is preferentially to restrict imports of a given fruit to areas free of fruit fly attack.
Cultural Control and Sanitary Methods
One of the most effective control techniques against fruit flies in general is to wrap fruit, either in newspaper, a paper bag, or in the case of long/thin fruits, a polythene sleeve. This is a simple physical barrier to oviposition, but it has to be applied well before the fruit is attacked. There is also some evidence that neem seed kernel extract can deter oviposition (Shivendra-Singh and Singh, 1998). Early harvesting is also an effective control strategy for mango (Gajendra-Singh et al., 1997). Little information is available on the attack time for most fruits but few Bactrocera spp. attack prior to ripening.
Other control and sanitary methods include the removal and destruction of fallen fruits because they may harbour larvae that could form a next generation. Destruction can either be by burning, deep burrowing (at least 0.5 m below the surface), feeding them to pigs, or putting the fruits in dark-coloured plastic bags and placing them in the sun (so that the inside temperature rises and kills the larvae).
Another method is raking or disturbing the soil below the fruit trees using other means. This will expose the puparia, leading to desiccation or predation by other organisms.
Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:
B. dorsalis is a very serious pest of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables throughout its range and damage levels can be anything up to 100% of unprotected fruit.