Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) is pest of the avocado, Persea americana (Mill.) (Lauraceae), in South Africa and is regarded as a phytosanitary threat. The objective of this study was to develop a systems approach for T. leucotreta on ‘Hass’ avocado that will mitigate the pest risk. T. leucotreta males were monitored with pheromone traps, and numbers declined during the winter. Field studies indicated that most of eggs were laid during January in the Deerpark area, and during harvest, only 0.029 lesions produced live larvae. Survival of larvae in fruit infested on the tree and left to develop after harvest varied and depended on the time of infestation before harvest. Fruit firmness was measured and fifth instars were only present in soft fruit. Fenpropathrin and a granulovirus were effective in reducing the infestation levels. Bags used to cover fruit also reduced infestation levels. Lesions caused by T. leucotreta were visible from two weeks after infestation and fruit with lesions can be sorted. The mean infestation rate per orchard was 0.003 lesions per fruit which makes T. leucotreta on Hass amenable to the alternative treatment efficacy approach and maximum pest limit. In the case of T. leucotreta on Hass, poor host status, production, preharvest and postharvest measures were studied and low infestation levels were observed; all these elements would make a systems approach an option. Furthermore, inspection and certification as well as shipping and distribution measures could be added.
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Vol. 103 • No. 4