Fruit Flies, which I call “The Invincible Forces”, because they usually appear out of nowhere, are one of the worst enemies to the production of quality mangoes, period. I’m not surprised the most enduring myths in pest control is that fruits somehow spawns fruit flies. As in, fruit flies materialize out of fruit, and that’s why they seem to come out of nowhere.
Of course, everyone knows that’s completely ridiculous and yet the myth persists. It’s not tough to see why though.
Fruit flies really do seem to come out of nowhere. Learning what fruit flies actually are, and where they actually come from, would actually help you get rid of them.
Fruit flies typically gather where there is a high level of bacteria and especially when there is a sugary substance that can be used both for feeding themselves and their young ones.
The flies puncture the fruit skin to lay eggs. During this process, bacteria from the intestinal flora of the fly are introduced into the fruit causing rotting of the tissues surrounding the egg.
When the eggs hatch, the maggots feed on the fruit flesh making galleries. These provide entry for pathogens and increase the decaying of the fruit, making them unfit for human consumption. The fruit then falls to the ground just before the maggots pupate.
In preparation of our harvest, we have adopted a strategy that we believe will help eradicate these flies, to ensure we produce quality fruits.
The first step in our fruit flies reduction method is the maintenance of high sanitation in the orchard to interrupt the development of the fly.
We remove dropped fruits every day and kill the maggots by burning the produce, burying at least 2 ft in the ground to prevent emerging adult flies from reaching the soil surface or enclosing them in black plastic bags and then exposing it in the sun for a few hours to kill the maggots.
The second step being used is the trapping method. We use traps to determine the population density of the fruit flies. This helps us know the control measure to take.
We then finally do spraying, using bio-pesticides like pyrethrum, neem solutions and methyleugenol to kill the flies. Spraying is done weekly to ensure the larvae do not grow into flies.
We also spray 10 meters into neighboring farms, to prevent the spread of these flies from contaminating our fruits.
Overall, effective pruning and weeding helps with reduction of fruit flies population as well.