Generic Ionizing Radiation Quarantine Treatments Against Fruit Flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) Proposed

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Tephritid fruit flies comprise the most important group of quarantined pests of fresh produce. Most quarantine treatments of fresh agricultural commodities are directed against these pests, and considerable effort in detection, trapping, and population control is expended worldwide to prevent these pests from invading new territories. Ionizing radiation has been studied for 70 yr for its possible use as a quarantine treatment against fruit flies, but has only been applied commercially on a limited basis since 1995. The treatment has great potential and will probably be used extensively in the future as it is tolerated by more species of fruits than any other major treatment. The U.S. Department Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service only recently proposed allowing irradiation for fresh agricultural imports from other countries, and other countries are studying proposals to do likewise. In 1991, the International Consultative Group on Food Irradiation recommended a generic dose against all tephritid fruit flies of 150 Gy. This article examines the literature dealing with irradiation quarantine treatments against fruit flies and recommends minimum absorbed doses of 70 Gy for Anastrepha spp., 101 Gy for Bactrocera jarvisi and B. tryoni, and 150 Gy for all Tephritidae except when fruits have been stored in hypoxic atmospheres.

Keywords: commodity treatment; disinfestation; fruit flies; gamma radiation; phytosanitary treatment; postharvest

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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