Agronomist's notebook: Fruit flies are on the prowl this dry spell

A tomato crop attacked by fruit flies. The pest attacks and damages most of the soft-skinned and some harder-skinned fruits. PHOTO | ANN MACHARIA | NMG

What you need to know:

  • The pest attacks and damages most of the soft-skinned and some harder-skinned fruits. They include citrus, tomatoes, capsicum, cucumbers, apples, watermelons and butternuts
  • During the laying of the eggs, bacteria from intestines of the fly are introduced into the fruit causing rotting of the tissues surrounding the eggs and resulting in rotten fruit.
  • The symptoms of the damage vary from one fruit to the other though the affected produce shows small holes visible when the larvae leaves the fruits.
  • They include eliminating the source of attraction of the fruit flies by sorting and grading, eating ripened fruits and discarding the affected fruits appropriately.

Nothing can be as disappointing to a consumer as cutting a fruit like a mango or an orange only to notice white maggots inside.

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