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Additional information on eco-naturalure supplied by OCP Tech Note

Eco-naturalure contains two parts. One is a protein bait which encourages the fruit fly to come and feed on it - much like the old Vegemite concoctions people have used for years to attract and monitor fruit fly. The second component is a natural insecticide produced by a bacteria which kills fruit flies. Eco-naturalure combines these two ingredients to firstly lure the fruit fly to feed, and then kill it once the Spinosad (natural insecticide) enters their gut. It is imperative that fruit fly feed on the product. If they do not, then the product will not be effective. In order to ensure that fruit fly do in fact feed and ingest eco-naturalure there are a number of factors to consider.

Fruit fly can live anywhere from two to four months or more in the natural environment, depending on the weather and the predator population in the area that can pick them off. During their life-time fruit flies are most interested in feeding when they first emerge from the ground. In fact, the female fruit fly must feed on a protein source before she becomes sexually active. After this initial feeding stage she is then more interested in mating and laying her eggs than feeding again.

Therefore the period in which the female needs to be targeted is quite specific and we suggest that the spray be applied at least five weeks before harvest (in areas where fruit fly has not yet emerged from the ground prior to this). In most cases, applying from flower drop will ensure female fruit flies feed and ingest the product before they have a chance to mate. Fruit should be protected, from as soon as they are starting to form, until they are harvested. Another reason for this is that fruit fly can lay their eggs in rock-hard green fruit, not just when fruit starts to ripen. Once the egg is laid in an immature fruit it can stay in a dormant state until the fruit ripens. It then develops into a maggot and does its damage to your fruit.

Pet poo like chickens and compost bins are an excellent source of protein for fruit fly. Hence it is important to bait close to these areas as well so that the female feeds on the bait for her protein source. If she feeds on protein other than the bait, you have a sexually active female on your hands that has the potential to mate and sting your fruit.

Some areas may also be more prone to fruit fly than others. For example we had a home gardener from Strathfield (in Sydney) ring our office in late August to tell us he had fruit fly problems already. Therefore, the timing and weekly application of eco-naturalure is important. (re-apply after heavy rain).

When eco-naturalure is applied it should be sprayed with a coarse nozzle setting (not a mist and not a single jet) so that as the spray comes in contact with the foliage it forms droplets. These droplets should not run off the foliage but stick to the leaf. When fruit flies are attracted to the lure they should be able to stand on the foliage and feed from the droplets. If the product dries out or runs off the foliage, then it will not work.

Do not leave unused eco-naturalure in container for future use.

If you apply to a 1m2 board the rate to use is 10 ml eco-naturalure to 15 ml water. Again, this would be applied with a coarse nozzle setting so that the sticky droplets form on the surface. The material used should not allow the product to run off, be absorbed by the board, or heat up, as the product will not be available to the fruit fly if any of these occurs. Metal should definitely be avoided. Boards should also be placed in amongst the foliage of the fruit tree/bush that requires protection as fruit fly are shy and prefer the shelter of vegetation to exposed areas.

I hope this explains a little more about eco-naturalure and fruit flies in general.

More information on organic fruit fly control...

Suggested Products:
Cera Trap
Stone Fruit Bags
Fruit Fly Trap
Fruit Sleeve
PestGuard Bags
Vege Net

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