Fruit Fly Warfare

It isn’t my nature, but I have been slinking around like a true guerilla with my sites on the fruit fly population.  I wrote a 4 page essay on my findings, that I will spare you for now.  I will unleash it on my three readers soon enough.  As some of you bundle up,and pour through your seed catalogs in hopes of Spring, perhaps dreaming about lands where there there is no true Winter, let me remind you, here in Hawaii we have the same brutal Agricultural pests as the Congo.  I wish I were joking.  One soon learns why 95% of our veggies are shipped in from Fruit fly free localities.  Here in Hawaii we are in the heart of yet another fruit fly “bloom” (they can have 8 to 9 cycles within the Calandar year. ) I refuse to be defeated.  Whatever I learn here, my Peace Corps minded self may just take to the Congo to help where I can.  Who knows, maybe outsmarting tropical pests will be my legacy.  It isn’t glamorous, but it is true.  OK back to the war…

Three waves of determined effort are necessary, and well, a continuous parts of your growing practice here in Alohaland.

Clean crop practice: I bag the stung squash in reused metallic coffee bags that my Starbuck’s Grounds for your Garden come in.  I then place them in the sun for a couple hours before they are dropped into a sealed bucket where they will die and decompose in the weeks again.

DSC_0369Lures:  The men are targeted and lured by the use of the right scent for the right fly ( sorry guys.)  Though Oriental Fruit fly does not attack squash, they are on the property in large numbers, so I am taking them out for the benefit of someone’s crops.  They may be feeding on a neighbor farm. The mean, but gorgeous Melon fly is my leopard spotted enemy.  Cure lure is their bait.  See reused cup trap image in prior post for the general idea.  Homemade traps have cleared hundreds of males from the two varieties, with the bulk being Oriental Fruit Fly.

Bag…no double bag ’em:  I have used my fledgling Blue Hubbard as a case study plant, trying out all kinds of strategies.  So far, my vote is for a quick, but meaningful hand pollination followed by a parafin wax baggie, topped with a brown paper lunch bag.  Driven by scent, this seems to be a good solution so far.

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