Ceratitis capitata

Protecting Citrus Crops from Fruit Flies

The fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) represents a significant threat to citrus in the Valencia region. Understanding its biology and control methods is essential to safeguard the crop. At Cocalni we are very aware of this pest and the problems it can cause.

Fruit Fly Identification

Fruit flies go through different stages of development: from egg, to larva, to adult. It is crucial to recognise their physical characteristics in order to implement effective management strategies. For example, the egg is whitish, ovoid in shape, while the larva is apodous and acephalous, whitish but with yellowish tones.

Ceratitis capitata larvas

Damage to citrus fruit

Direct damage is due to female stinging of the fruit and larval galleries, resulting in premature decay and ripening. In addition, export restrictions can impact the agricultural economy. It is important to watch for symptoms on the fruit, such as bites or early fruit drop.

Fruit Fly Biology

Climatic conditions favour adult emergence in spring. The fly feeds on fruit and other secretions, with a life cycle lasting approximately 30 days. Understanding its life cycle helps to synchronise control measures.

Control methods

Traps are used to monitor the population and sampling is used to observe damaged fruit. In addition, specific chemical treatments are used. It is essential to implement an integrated management plan that combines different methods to obtain better results.

Comprehensive Plan since 2003

Since 2003, a scheme promoting biorational methods and biological control, such as the sterile insect technique (SIT), has been implemented. This integrated approach is essential to keep fruit fly populations under control and to protect citrus crops in a sustainable way.

Integrated fruit fly management is essential to protect citrus crops, prioritising environmentally friendly practices. The combination of control methods, together with constant monitoring and implementation of preventive measures, contributes to maintaining crop health and food safety.

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