Monitoring population levels of the Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens (Loew) (Diptera: Tephritidae), at the orchard level prior and during the fruit ripening period can result in significant savings in the costs of managing this pestiferous insect. Unfortunately, to date, no highly effective and economically viable trap is available to growers. To move toward this goal, trap—lure combinations were evaluated in trials performed in citrus orchards in Veracruz, Mexico. CeraTrap, an enzymatic hydrolyzed protein from pig intestinal mucose, was 3.6 times more attractive to A. ludens than the most commonly used bait of Captor (hydrolyzed protein and borax) when using Multilure traps. When several commercial traps were evaluated, the efficacy of a simple and inexpensive transparent polyethylene (PET) bottle with 10-mm lateral holes was similar to that of the costly Multilure trap when baited with CeraTrap and significantly more effective than a Multilure trap baited with Captor. PET bottles filled with Cera Trap, rebaited at 8-wk intervals, and tested in trials encompassing 72 ha of citrus groves, were significantly more effective than Multilure traps baited with Captor that need to be serviced weekly. In addition to this relevant finding, CeraTrap baited traps detected A. ludens at lower population densities and attracted a significantly higher number of flies at all densities when compared with Captor-baited traps.We conclude that CeraTrap represents a cost-effective and highly efficient bait that will enable us to pursue the goal of developing economic thresholds, a badly needed management tool for A. ludens.
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Vol. 108 • No. 4