Effects of Methyl Bromide Concentration, Fumigation Time, and Fumigation Temperature on Mediterranean and Oriental Fruit Fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) Egg and Larval Survival

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The effects of methyl bromide (MB) concentration (16, 32, 48, or 64 g/m3), fumigation temperature (15, 20, 25, or 30°C), and fumigation time interactions on the survival of Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), and oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae), eggs and first and third instars were recorded. Increasing the fumigation temperature from 15 to 20°C or from 20 to 25°C resulted in a significant reduction in fumigation time required for equivalent egg and larval mortalities at all studied MB concentrations; no further reductions in fumigation time resulted from increasing the temperature from 25 to 30°C. Conversely, increasing temperature and time allowed for a reduction in MB concentration to obtain equivalent mortality. Thus, the optimum fumigation temperature for Mediterranean and oriental fruit fly eggs and larvae was 25°C. Reducing MB concentrations required for phytosanitary fumigations would save time and expense, and reduce the amount of MB released into the atmosphere during aeration. Mediterranean fruit fly was as or more tolerant to MB than oriental fruit fly in MB tolerance for eggs and first instars. The egg stage was generally more tolerant to MB regardless of concentration. However, Mediterranean fruit fly eggs showed similar tolerance to first instars at 25°C for the three highest concentrations and to third instars at 25 and 30°C for the highest concentration, with no significant difference between them. Therefore, eggs alone can be used to obtain MB fumigation efficacy and quarantine security data at fumigation temperatures between 15 and 30°C for Mediterranean and oriental fruit fly.

Keywords: Mediterranean fruit fly; methyl bromide; oriental fruit fly; quarantine

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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