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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Papaya Pest - Fruit Fly

Asian Papaya Fruit Fly (Bactocera papayae) or Locally known as Lalat Buah Betik Asia was a serious pest to papaya (Carica papaya) and also attack Starfruit, Dokong, Soursop, Citrus, Mango, mangosteen, jackfruit, banana and rambutan as a host. Other species of this fruit fly in Malaysia are Bactocera dorsalis and Bactocera carambolae. It grows 7 mm length and has a pair of clear wings normally black chest and paler abdomen with a distinctive black T-shape marking on the back. This pests falls under Family Tephritidae and Ordo Diptera and considered as the main cause of damage of main FRUITS in tropical and subtropical region. The fruit fly reported to has more than 2,000 species. The attack of fruit fly occurred when ripening almost there but actually the process started long before. The adult fruit fly inject the eggs at young stage and their larvae will damage the whole fruit if not properly control. This pest spread an endemic pest to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Borneo, Singapore and recently in Papua New Guinea and other tropical region.

Adult female flies lay their eggs just under the skin of fruit, depositing fruit decaying bacteria at the same time. Within one to two days, the eggs hatch into maggots (larvae) which feed on the decaying fruit, causing premature fruit drop. Considerable damage can occurred inside the flesh before obvious signs of infestation can be seen on the fruit. The most obvious signs of infestation are small discolored patches on the skin, which develop from punctures or stings made by the female as she lays her eggs. The fruit fly egg injected to fruit in 2 days before ripening process. It takes 7-12 days for the larvae to leave the fruit to develop into pupae in the soil. Adults emerge from the pupae in another 10-14 days, and become sexually mature after one to two weeks. They live for several months and are capable of reproducing throughout their life span. The whole life cycle of fruit fly about 16 - 51 days. Like most tropical fruit fly species, papaya fruit fly multiplies rapidly and can disperse over large distances.

Chemical control applied when it was necessary with Fenthion (such as CH Fention 50EC with 10 ml Insecticide/10 liter water, malathion (15 ml chemical/ 10 liter water) or Deltamethrin (Decis at 10-22 ml chemical/10 liter water). The spaying direct to the almost ripe fruit or there is symptom of fruit fly attack. Methyl Eugenol as trap applied to control fruit fly population in the area. Farm sanitation important in papaya farm to reduce fruit fly population and collect all drop fruit on the ground and demolish. In Johor there is 443.5 hectare of papaya in 2008 produce 6,780 mt especially for domestic and export market. Largest growing area was in Muar District (188.4 ha), Batu Pahat (98.4 ha) and Segamat (68 ha). Popular variety grown was Betik Sekaki and Betik Hong Kong. The Department of Agriculture Muar District monitor the Quarantine and Inspection Service is responsible for papaya fruit fly surveillance on each inhabited. The Extension program plan to ensure the fruit fly under control in papaya active growing area such at Tangkak, Pagoh, Bukit serampang and surrounding area. Thanks...
M Anem
Senior Agronomist
District Agriculture Officer,
Muar, Johor,
(Updated on 24 January 2016)

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