Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fruit fly traps

The mediterranean fruit fly is in my view the biggest threat to obtaining a yield on tomatoes and stone fruit in Perth. The plum trees we planted last year have set lots of fruit and some of them are already showing bite marks of fruit flys. It's time to do something about it, and might even alread be too late. I have prepared  a few small and big plastic bottles to use as fly traps and want to give it shot again, after my last attempts were not overly successful.

A good recipe for the bait is from a program of ABC Gouldburn Murray on 1 April 2011.
Jacky's Fruit Fly mixture:
Add one heaped teaspoon of vegemite to one litre mixing jug.
Add half a cup of hot water to dissolve the vegemite.
Add 1/4 cup of brown sugar.
Add finely chopped banana peel.
Fill remainder of jug with cold water.
Cut two small holes at top of empty 1.25 litre plastic bottles.
Pour a third of mixture into plastic bottle and hang (one litre mixture can be spread across three 1.25 litre bottles.)

Some other useful suggestions come from Garden Note 547 published by  the WA Department of Agriculture and Forest.
Mediterranean fruit fly - ceratitis capitata
Table 2 contains several fruitfly bait recipes, all exploring the need of the female medfly for protein:

Recipes to lure Medfly in home gardens
Solution 1
80 g white sugar
1.5 g dry brewer’s yeast
920 mL water
Solution 2
5 mL imitation vanilla essence
20 mL household ammonia
1 L water
Solution 3
Peel from 6 mandarins (or 2 oranges)
50 mL household ammonia
1 L water
Solution 4
2 tsp honey
2 tbsp ammonia
2 tbsp imitation vanilla essence
1 L water
Solution 5
1 tsp borax
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp bran
1 L water

The internet has plenty of advice on how to control the medfruit fly:
The WA Department of Agriculture also publishes another useful resource: Common Seasonal Pests. Time to cut the bottles and to prepare the mixtures.