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Insects 2013, 4(1), 168-176; doi:10.3390/insects4010168

Dispersal of Rhagoletis cerasi in Commercial Cherry Orchards: Efficacy of Soil Covering Nets for Cherry Fruit Fly Control

Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Ackerstrasse 21, Postfach 219, CH-5070 Frick, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 January 2013 / Revised: 2 March 2013 / Accepted: 5 March 2013 / Published: 12 March 2013
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Demand for organic cherries offers producers a premium price to improve their commercial viability. Organic standards require that producers find alternatives to pesticides. Soil treatments to control the European cherry fruit fly Rhagoletis cerasi (L.) (Diptera: Tephrididae) appear to be an attractive option. However, soil treatments can only be effective if the migration of flies is low, because mature flies may migrate from near-by trees for oviposition. To examine the general potential of soil treatments and to understand the dispersal and flight behaviour of R. cerasi within orchards, experiments using netting to cover the soil were conducted in two orchards with different pest pressure during two years. The netting reduced flight activity by 77% and fruit infestation by 91%. The data showed that the flies have a dispersal of less than 5 m within orchards, which is very low. The low thresholds for tolerance for infested fruit in the fresh market creates a strong economic incentive for control, therefore, soil covering is a promising strategy for controlling R. cerasi in commercial orchards.
Keywords: Diptera; Tephritidae; Migration; netting; organic agriculture Diptera; Tephritidae; Migration; netting; organic agriculture
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Daniel, C.; Baker, B. Dispersal of Rhagoletis cerasi in Commercial Cherry Orchards: Efficacy of Soil Covering Nets for Cherry Fruit Fly Control. Insects 2013, 4, 168-176.

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