Serious fruit pests controlled - biologicaly
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CTA. 1992. Serious fruit pests controlled - biologicaly . Spore 42. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45881
Several important pests that attack fruit in the South Pacific region are being controlled with biological agents instead of chemical sprays. In some cases this will mean that fruit exports, previously banned because of chemical residues, can soon...
Several important pests that attack fruit in the South Pacific region are being controlled with biological agents instead of chemical sprays. In some cases this will mean that fruit exports, previously banned because of chemical residues, can soon be resumed. Fruit-piercing moths cause widespread damage to fruit in Western Samoa and Fiji. There is a local parasite of the moth, but because it is not very effective, another parasite has been imported. Now the two parasites are giving good control. In Papua New Guinea the banana skipper, a butterfly whose larvae defoliate banana plants, is now being attacked by parasitic wasps. The release of these wasps was made only after extensive trials, because there is also a near relative of the banana skipper in Papua New Guinea, which is beautiful but harmless. Scientists wanted to make certain that the parasitic wasps would not attack these harmless butterflies. Extensive tests by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) showed that the parasitic wasps were specific to the pest butterfly. Their release was therefore permitted and it seems that they are already having an effect on the banana skipper population. Scientists from ACIAR are also developing ways of using nematodes to attack and kin pests. In Tonga they are testing 35 different strains of nematodes against the banana weevil borer. One strain of nematode is proving particularly effective. ACIAR has been extending its biological control work to include control of weeds such as the giant sensitive plant (Mimosa in visa) and water hyacinth. ACIAR GPO Box 1571 Canberra ACT 2601 AUSTRALIA