Mango is one of the most important commercial fruit crops of India. Apart from large percentage of domestic consumption it’s also being exported to various other countries from India. However, the Mango fruits are heavily infested by Fruit flies attack especially during the fruit development and fruit ripening stage, which in turn causes 25-30 % of yield loss to the farmers. It may even lead to 100 % yield loss if the pest population and infestation are severe. The fruits affected from fruit flies will lose quality and fetch a very lower price and demand in the market, which leads to economic loss to the farmers.
Especially during the export, the fruits are allowed to export only after checking to see that fruits are free from fruit flies. If the larvae of the pest are found at any point of time, the whole batch of fruits will be rejected for exporting.
Hence, the farmers specially while growing mango for export should be very careful and must exercise extreme cautions to keep the fruit flies away from the crop. For this, farmers need to adopt Integrated Pest Management Strategies with which they can effectively control the fruit flies and grow healthy mango fruits.
The adult female fruit flies inject the fruits and lay eggs in inner tissue of developed fruits. After hatching, the yellow larvae (caterpillars) start feeding on the internal pulp thereby causing rotting of fruits. You can also find black spots/holes on the affected fruits. Because of this infestation, the fruits will ripen prematurely or the affected fruits may rot and fall down on the ground.
We can also find gummy exudations on the affected fruits due to internal feeding and digestion of larvae, later the exit holes of larvae get visible on the surface of the affected fruits.
- The fruit fly larvae will pupate and complete their life cycle by remaining in the soil and later emerge as fly and continue to infest the crop
2. The presence of crops that are most affected by fruit flies such as watermelon, muskmelon, gourds, lemons, guava, papaya, etc in your mango orchard or near by the orchard
3. Growing different mango varieties with different maturity cycles in the same orchard. Since the fruit flies will attack the crop specially during fruit development, the late maturing varieties are often infested the most because of successive and more life cycle of fruit flies
- Presence of weeds which may act as alternate host
- Presence of infested fruits may be fallen in the plot or near the fruit packaging unit
- Collect and quickly remove all the fallen fruits every day and destroy them
- Avoid growing of crops which are most often infested by fruit flies in the mango orchard or nearby orchard
- Remove any wild or old tress in the orchards otherwise may act as place for break out of infestation
- Remove weeds around the trees and maintain hygiene in the orchard, which also makes easy to pick the fallen fruits
5. Cultivate the top soil upto 10 cm, to expose the pupae to sunlight and kill them to stop the further infestation
6. Grow mango varieties preferably with similar growth cycles
7. Plant varieties which matures early so that the fruits ripen and comes to the market early when the fruit fly populations are low
To manage this serious pest, farmers should take precautionary measures to prevent the infestation for which the farmers should take up integrated pest management strategies such as following all the preventive measures mentioned above and erecting fruit fly traps compulsorily during fruit development stage until complete harvesting and if necessary minimal application of chemical insecticides.
These strategies will help the farmers to prevent the infestation of mango fruit flies to maximum extent and ensure higher yield with good quality fruits.
1. Biological method to control Mango fruit flies
Installation and erection of Traps with Fruit fly pheromone in the orchard from the stage of fruit development until complete harvesting as well as during severe outbreak of fruit flies is necessary for effective prevention and management of fruit fly infestation.
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2. Spray with Insecticides:
As and when required, spray with limited quantities of insecticides along with the installation of fruit fly traps will help in the management of fruit flies in Mango.
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Dr. Asha, K.M.,
For more information kindly call on 8050797979 or give missed call on 180030002434 during office hours 10 AM to 5 PM
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