Invasive fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) pose a global threat to agriculture through direct damage to food crops and the accompanying trade restrictions that often result. Early detection is vital to controlling fruit flies, because it increases the probability of limiting the growth and spread of the invasive population and thus may greatly reduce the monetary costs required for eradication or suppression. Male-specific lures are an important component of fruit fly detection, and three such lures are used widely: trimedlure (TML), cue lure (CL), and methyl eugenol (ME), attractive to Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann); melon fly, Bactrocera Cucurbitae (Coquillett); and oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), respectively. In California, Florida, and Texas, the two Bactrocera lures are applied to separate species-specific traps as liquids (with a small amount of the insecticide naled added), whereas TML is delivered as a solid plug in another set of traps. Thus, the detection protocol involves considerable handling time as well as potential contact with a pesticide. The purpose of this study was to compare trap capture between liquid male lures and “trilure” wafers that contain TML, ME, raspberry ketone (RK, the hydroxy equivalent of CL), and the toxicant DDVP embedded within a solid matrix. Field studies were conducted in a Hawaiian coffee (Coffea arabica L.) field where the three aforementioned species co-occur, showed that the wafer captured at least as many flies as the liquid baits for all three species. This same result was obtained in comparisons using both fresh and aged (6-wk) baits. Moreover, the wafers performed as well as the single-lure traps in an ancillary experiment in which TML plugs were substituted for liquid TML. Additional experiments demonstrated explicitly that the presence of ME and RK had no effect on captures of C. capitata males and similarly that the presence of TML had no effect on the capture of B. Cucurbitae or B. dorsalis males.
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Vol. 105 • No. 4