How Sterile Insect Technique can help producers

Experience in other countries has shown that three objectives are possible with Sterile Insect Technique, with increasing cost implications but with increasing benefits:

  • Fruit fly control or suppression in a cost-effective, environmentally compatible manner.
  • Creation of an area of low fruit fly prevalence. Fruit flies are present, but at extremely low levels (e.g. an average of 0.001 to 0.0001 flies/trap/day), which may be acceptable to many discriminatory countries.
  • Creation of a fruit fly-free area (= eradication; 0 flies/trap/day over at least 12 months), with a fruit fly-free certificate. This will entail establishing quarantine zones to prevent fertile fruit flies being brought into the area by human movement, and is an operation managed and financed by government. There is increasing international awareness that it is very difficult and costly to achieve and maintain a fruit fly-free area.