Precision Agriculture

Biofeed Developed a Tool for Year-round Area-wide Control of Fruit Flies

An alternative approach for year-round area wide control of fruit flies

Biofeed Ltd has developed an alternative approach implementing feeding stations as a tool for year-round area wide control of fruit flies. The approach of using feeding stations as a low cost and effective tool for controlling fruit flies on extensive areas has been substantiated lately by Biofeed Ltd., as described by its CEO, Dr. Nimrod Israely. Says Israely “There are currently two main approaches aiming to avoid the commonly used non-selective mass sprays of chemical pesticides against fruit flies. (1) The sterile insect technique (SIT) generally implemented for the control on extensive areas and implemented year round. (2) Specific traps for mass trapping, mostly implemented on restricted areas during the fruit-bearing season exclusively.

 

 
Neither one of these approaches provides a high enough control rate, to enable spraying avoidance.” The feeding stations developed by Biofeed function by providing a liquid mixture of attractants, phagostimulants and a toxicant, which are slowly released to the surface of the feeding station, where flies can land and consume the bait. The feeding station is equipped with a dispenser that can maintain the activity continuously for one year. The Biofeed-regime features an integrated solution based on the following elements:  A novel specific pest luring and annihilation technology of up to one year maintenance-free longevity; Know-how of the ecology and biology of the target pest; Meticulous monitoring of fruit infestation and fly population, data analysis and appropriate response when needed. Biofeed believes that implementing the Biofeed-regime on extensive areas could successfully replace the SIT method. Numerous experiments carried out since the year 2000 to optimize device functioning while minimizing maintenance costs. It has been found that device density of 50–150 units/hectare is suitable in most cases.

A summary of 2013-2014 summer-fruits and citrus season shows unprecedented results obtained by growers employing Israel’s original Biofeed-regime, against the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata). The following results were obtained: A) The town of Ness-Ziona is surrounded by hundreds of hectares of citrus orchards that were normally sprayed 20–30 times a year, against the Medfly with noxious pesticides. A five-year struggle by the town’s citizens, resulted in a decision to replace these sprays with an intensive Biofeed-regime. The current results of this change are 0% fruit fly infestation, and complete satisfaction of the citrus growers and residents, which resulted in a decision to continue this project. B) The need to spray fruit plantations treated by Biofeed-regime against the Mediterranean fruit fly in other places in Israel has been reduced by 99.9% as compared with the situation prevailing before. C) The infestation level of the fruits in those plantations decreased by over 90% compared with the level under normal growers’ practice of pesticides sprays. D) Growers employing the Biofeed-regime reported a reduction of 20–100% of spraying against other crops’ pests, and a decline of 20–40% in the total pest-control expenses.

Additionally, Dr. N. Israely, Biofeed’s President, reports that following a recent complete ban in Israel, over the use of Divipan (Dichlorvos) pesticide, including in monitoring traps, Biofeed developed the U-trap dedicated monitoring fruit fly traps. Flies attraction to U-trap takes place by using a dry attractant, and flies killing- by using a special film, coated with solid Deltametrin, attached to the trap. Field trials show similar or better effectiveness, compared to standard Steiner traps commonly used in Israel.

 

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