Trapping results indicate that pepper maggot, Zonosemata electa (Say), flies occupy tree canopies adjacent to fields when not on host plants. Several in- and near-field trap positions were used to find a reliable monitoring system for adult pepper maggots. Traps baited with liquid ammonium hydroxide (Stills-style trap), hung in the canopy of trees on the edges of pepper fields, caught significantly more Z. electa flies than when positioned lower along the treeline or in the field. In a second experiment, significantly more pepper maggot flies were captured in sugar maples compared with choke cherry trees, which indicates a pest preference for certain nonhost habitats. The lowest trap height tested (2.1 m) failed to capture Z. electa flies in either tree species when the pest population level was low. These studies demonstrated that pepper maggot flies can be reliably detected with Stills-style traps positioned at ≈6.4 m height within the canopy of sugar maple trees adjacent to pepper fields. Fruit oviposition scars also are useful site-specific indicators of pepper maggot presence/absence and may aid in determining if insecticide applications are necessary and in timing sprays.
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Vol. 94 • No. 2