Confidence Limits and Sample Size for Determining Nonhost Status of Fruits and Vegetables to Tephritid Fruit Flies as a Quarantine Measure

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Quarantine measures including treatments are applied to exported fruit and vegetable commodities to control regulatory fruit fly pests and to reduce the likelihood of their introduction into new areas. Nonhost status can be an effective measure used to achieve quarantine security. As with quarantine treatments, nonhost status can stand alone as a measure if there is high efficacy and statistical confidence. The numbers of insects or fruit tested during investigation of nonhost status will determine the level of statistical confidence. If the level of confidence of nonhost status is not high, then additional measures may be required to achieve quarantine security as part of a systems approach. Certain countries require that either 99.99 or 99.9968% mortality, as a measure of efficacy, at the 95% confidence level, be achieved by a quarantine treatment to meet quarantine security. This article outlines how the level of confidence in nonhost status can be quantified so that its equivalency to traditional quarantine treatments may be demonstrated. Incorporating sample size and confidence levels into host status testing protocols along with efficacy will lead to greater consistency by regulatory decision-makers in interpreting results and, therefore, to more technically sound decisions on host status.

Keywords: fruit flies; phytosanitary treatments; probit 9; quarantine statistics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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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