A bait spray for control of fruit fly is an alternative to chemical spraying of the entire tree. Protein hydrolysate/Maldison bait spray is registered for use in custard apples, citrus, avocados, persimmons and guava. Trials are in progress on passionfruit and kiwifruit.

The bait spray is prepared by mixing:
10 mls Maldison 50% emulsifiable concentrate
20 g Maldison 25% wettable powder + 20 ml protein hydrolysate + 1 L water

50 to 100 ml of bait is applied to the foliage of each tree. The area covered should be about one square metre. The bait is freshly made for each application.

How the Bait Works
The protein hydrolysate deposited on the plant foliage stimulates growth of bacteria. Fruit fly feed on these bacteria and while they're feeding, the Maldison insecticide kills them.

Spray at 7-10 day intervals and reapply the bait after heavy rain irrespective of when the last bait spray was applied.

To date, there have been problems with obtaining a low-salt formulation of protein hydrolysate bait that does not burn foliage. Amalgamated Chemicals and Lanes have marketed a protein bait that is not suitable. Their bait formulation contains 20% salt as a preservative and is phytotoxic on foliage.

Why use Bait Spray instead of Chemical Sprays?
* specific to fruit fly so it doesn't affect parasites and predators of fruit fly and other pests
* quick and easy to use
* less chemical costs
* fewer residues in the orchard

Why not try it?

Christine Gray

DATE: September 1983, January 1994

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