Evaluation of the Efficacy of the Methyl Bromide Fumigation Schedule Against Mexican Fruit Fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Citrus Fruit

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Abstract:

Methyl bromide fumigation is widely used as a phytosanitary treatment. Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens (Loew) (Diptera: Tephritidae), is a quarantine pest of several fruit, including citrus (Citrus spp.), exported from Texas, Mexico, and Central America. Recently, live larvae have been found with supposedly correctly fumigated citrus fruit. This research investigates the efficacy of the previously approved U.S. Department of Agriculture—Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service treatment schedule: 40 g/m3 methyl bromide at 21‐29.4°C for 2 h. Tolerance of A. ludens to methyl bromide in descending order when fumigated in grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi Macfad.) is third instar > second instar > first instar > egg. Two infestation techniques were compared: insertion into fruit of third instars reared in diet and oviposition by adult A. ludens into fruit and development to the third instar. Inserted larvae were statistically more likely to survive fumigation than oviposited larvae. When fruit were held at ambient temperature, 0.23 ± 0.12% of larvae were still observed to be moving 4 d postfumigation. Temperatures between 21.9 and 27.2°C were positively related to efficacy measured as larvae moving 24 h after fumigation, pupariation, and adult emergence. Coating grapefruit with Pearl Lustr 2‐3 h before fumigation did not significantly affect the proportion of third instars moving 24 h after fumigation, pupariating, or emerging as adults. In conclusion, fumigation with 40 g/m3 methyl bromide for 2 h at fruit temperatures >26.7°C is not found to be inefficacious for A. ludens. Although a few larvae may be found moving >24 h postfumigation, they do not pupariate.

Keywords: Anastrepha ludens; commodity treatment; phytosanitary; quarantine

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC10199

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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