In a field study in Hawaii, color-marked protein-deprived and protein-fed female melon flies, Bactrocera cucurbitae Coquillett, were released within canopies of unsprayed sorghum plants (a nonhost of melon flies) outside of a border area of unsprayed or bait-sprayed sorghum plants or open space that surrounded cucumbers, a favored host of melon flies. Application of bait spray to sorghum or sugarcane surrounding host plants of melon flies is a common practice for melon fly control in Hawaii. GF-120 Fruit Fly Bait spray proved very effective in preventing protein-deprived females from alighting on cucumbers (23% of released females were observed dead on bait-sprayed sorghum; 0% were observed alive on cucumbers), but proved less effective in suppressing protein-fed females (14% of released females were observed dead on bait-sprayed sorghum; 11% were observed alive on cucumbers). No females were found dead on unsprayed sorghum. Compared with open space surrounding cucumbers, the presence of unsprayed sorghum as surrounding border area neither significantly enhanced nor significantly inhibited the ability of either type of female with respect to finding cucumbers. Greenhouse cage assays revealed that compared with droplets of water, droplets of GF-120 Fruit Fly Bait spray were highly attractive to protein-deprived females within 1 h of bait spray application to sorghum, but lost about half of their attractiveness within 5 h and all of it within 24 h under the dry greenhouse conditions used for maintaining baited-sprayed sorghum plants in these assays. Laboratory cup assays showed that bait spray droplets remained highly toxic to protein-deprived females 24 h after application, but lost nearly half of their toxicity within 4 d under laboratory exposure and nearly all of it after ≈8 mm of rainfall. Combined findings suggest that application of GF-120 Fruit Fly Bait spray to nonhost plants for melon fly control either be made often enough to overcome loss of attractiveness of bait spray droplets to females or that bait spray be applied to nonhost plants that are themselves attractive to the females.
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Vol. 96 • No. 5