SIT is not a new technique, but has over recent years been refined and successfully used in other countries to suppress or even eradicate a number of fruit fly species and other insect pests.
As part of this original feasibility study, an SIT Pilot Project was initiated in the Hex River Valley with a view to suppressing Medflies in an economical and environmentally compatible manner. The Hex River Valley is geographically ideally suited for an SIT programme, being well isolated from adjacent areas which may have fruit flies. It is planted mainly with a single crop – table grapes. A cost-benefit study showed it to be economically the most favourable of all areas in the Western Cape for a fruit fly SIT programme, based on a comparison of conventional control costs versus estimated SIT costs.