Bactrocera dorsalis, the oriental fruit fly, is a priority quarantine pest regulated on European territory, in accordance with EU regulation 2016/2031. The European regulation 2016/2031 relating to plant health, which entered into force on December 14, 2019, has strengthened the monitoring systems for exotic pests. In this context, the DRAAF and FREDON PACA, a health organization (OVS), have set up a trapping network in order to detect B. dorsalis at an early stage. This new surveillance network revealed the presence of 5 adult insects in a trap located in Hyères on August 5, 2021. This is the first detection in Provence-Alpes-Côtes-d´Azur.
This species, native to Southeast Asia, has spread since the early 2000s to the west, the Middle East and almost all of Africa. Intercepted on numerous occasions over the past fifteen years at a border checkpoint, B. dorsalis was first reported in orchards in Europe, in Italy in 2018 and in France in 2019 (Paris region and Occitania).
Management measures are put in place by state services, FREDON and agricultural organizations:
B. Dorsalis at a glance
B. dorsalis can attack several hundred species of cultivated and wild plants. The cultivated plants concerned are mainly fruit crops (in particular peach, mango, banana, fig, etc.), citrus fruits (lemon, orange, etc.) but also vegetables (tomato, pepper, melon, squash, etc.). The damage is caused by the larvae (maggots) which develop in fruits and vegetables, rendering the products unsuitable for marketing.
Measures to be adopted to fight against fruit flies
This incursion is an opportunity to recall the measures that allow everyone to help prevent the appearance or spread of organisms harmful to crops on our territory, in particular fruit flies.
The first step is to prevent their introduction by respecting the rules at the entrance to the European phytosanitary area. Whether from Third Countries or the DROM, it is forbidden to bring fresh fruit or vegetables in your luggage.
The next step is to adopt good practices to limit the proliferation of fruit flies, whether European or exotic. In cultivation, for individuals, do not let the fruit rot on trees or on the ground so as to prevent the maggot cycle from unfolding, put them in closed garbage bags for 15 days before composting.
For farmers, it is recommended to set up cultivation techniques that contribute to destroying crops that have fallen to the ground (tillage, rotary mulching, etc.), to set up insect-proof nets if possible on the various plants in cultivation, to avoid over-ripe harvesting, methanization, or even incineration of waste.
For professionals in the fresh fruit and vegetable trade, it is recommended to install insect traps near the entry and exit points of goods, do not compost waste and unsold fruit and vegetables, especially exotic ones, from close garbage bags and dumpsters in order to limit the development of maggots and flies and to ensure frequent removal of waste.