Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens (Loew), is a quarantine pest of several fruit, including citrus, avocados, and mangoes, from extreme southern Texas to Costa Rica. To provide information for modeling heat phytosanitary treatments, third instars were heated with an aluminum heating block between 44 and 50°C for time intervals up to those causing 100% mortality. At 44 and 50°C, 100% mortality was achieved at 100 and 2 min, respectively. Each 2°C increase in temperature resulted in a three-fourths reduction in the amount of time required to achieve 100% mortality. Mortality was modeled using thermal death kinetics, and the most suitable reaction order was the 0.5th. The thermal death activation energy was 560.7 kJ/mol, which is very similar to the value found for Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), in a previous study, indicating similar modes of action for heat mortality. However, the Mexican fruit fly had a lower threshold for heat-induced mortality, resulting in less time at all temperatures studied to achieve 100% mortality compared with the Mediterranean fruit fly. This type of information being gathered for fruit flies could lead to the development of generic phytosanitary heat treatments, which are available for other major phytosanitary treatments, such as cold storage, methyl bromide fumigation, and ionizing irradiation.
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Vol. 98 • No. 6