A new mechanised cultural practice to reduce Ceratitis capitata Wied. populations in area-wide IPM

P. Chueca, C. Garcerá, A. Urbaneja, E. Molto


The Mediterranean fruit fly (or medfly), Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae), affects most of the fruit species grown in temperate and tropical climate regions, causing significant economic damage. One of the classical cultural strategies against this pest is to gather and bury the remaining fruit after harvest, but this is economically unfeasible today. Wood shredders already available in current Spanish groves can be used to grind or crush fruits laying on the soil as an alternative to this practice and to the use of pesticides in area-wide integrated pest management (IPM). With the purpose of evaluating this alternative, the initial step of this study was to perform laboratory tests to assess the efficacy of crushing and grinding as a method for controlling medflies. The results showed that grinding was 78% effective against larval stages, while crushing resulted in a 17% efficacy, leading us to choose the first alternative. As a second step, the operational parameters (type of cutting tool, shaft rotation speed and tractor speed) of the wood shredders were adjusted to efficiently carry out this practice under field conditions. Finally, the effect of the mechanised grinding of fallen fruit on C. capitata populations was evaluated for two consecutive years in commercial citrus orchards. The results showed a significant 27-46% reduction in C. capitata populations the following spring, thus demonstrating that the newly proposed mechanised alternative can be included in the current area-wide IPM of the pest in Spain.


Mediterranean fruit fly; Citrus sinensis; Citrus unshiu; wood grinders; shredders; non-chemical

Full Text:



Aleixandre M, García-Marí F, 2007. Observaciones sobre la invernación de Ceratitis capitata en la Comunidad Valenciana. Levante Agrícola 385: 108-114.

Alonso M, Jacas JA, Del Río MA, 2005. Carbon dioxide diminishes cold tolerance of third instar larvae of Ceratitis capitata Wiedemann (Diptera: Tephritidae) in 'Fortune' mandarins: implications for citrus quarantine treatments. Postharvest Biol Technol 36: 103-111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.postharvbio.2004.11.006

Argilés R, Tejedo J, 2007. La lucha de la mosca de la fruta mediante la técnica del insecto estéril en la Comunitat Valenciana. Levante Agrícola 385: 157-162.

BOE, 2002. Royal decree 1201/2002, of 20 November, which regulates the integrated production of agricultural products. Boletín Oficial del Estado No 287, 30/11/2002.

Bodenheimer FS, 1951. Citrus entomology in the Middle East. The Hague, Netherlands. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-5218-3

Brown GE, Miller WR, 1999. Maintaining fruit health after harvest. In: Citrus health management (Timmer LW, Duncan LW, eds.). APS Press Inc., St. Paul, MN, USA, pp: 175-192.

Castañera P, 2003. Control integrado de la mosca mediterránea de la fruta, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae) en cítricos. Phytoma Espa-a 153: 131-133.

Castañera P, Urbaneja A, 2007. Monografía Ceratitis capitata 2007. Levante Agrícola 385: 113.

Del Pino A, 2000. Efecto de factores abióticos y edáficos naturales en el ciclo biológico de Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Doctoral thesis. Univ. Politécnica, Valencia, Spain.

Dunnet CW, 1985. Multiple comparison procedure for comparing several treatments with a control. J Am Stat Assoc 50: 1096-1121. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01621459.1955.10501294

Ehler LE, Endicott PC, 1984. Effect of malathion bait sprays on biological control of insect pest of olive, citrus and walnut. Hilgardia 52: 1-47.

Fernández M, Picó Y, Ma-es J, 2001. Pesticide residues in oranges from Valencia (Spain). Food Addit Contam 18 (7): 615-24 PMid:11469317

Generalitat Valenciana, 2005. Bulletí d'Avisos 5: 17-20.

Gómez-Clemente F, 1932. Un ensayo de lucha biológica contra Ceratitis capitata. Boletín de Patología Vegetal y Entomología Agraria 6: 80-89.

Jacas JA, Palou L, Beitia F, del Río MA, 2008. Controlled in vivo infestation of mandarin fruit with Ceratitis capitata for development of quarantine treatments. Span J Agric Res 6 (3): 434-440. http://dx.doi.org/10.5424/sjar/2008063-336

Juan-Blasco M, Sabater-Mu-oz B, Argilés R, Jacas JA, Casta-era P, Urbaneja A, 2013. Molecular tools for sterile sperm detection to monitor Ceratitis capitata populations under SIT programmes. Pest Manag Sci 69: 857-864. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ps.3448 PMid:23355333

Levene H, 1960. Robust tests for equality of variances. In: Contributions to probability and statistics (Olkin I, eds.) Stanford University Press, Palo Alto, CA, USA.

Magaña C, Hernández-Crespo P, Ortego F, Casta-era P, 2007. Resistance to malathion in field populations of Ceratitis capitata. J Econ Entomol 100: 1836-1843. http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493(2007)100[1836:RTMIFP]2.0.CO;2

Ortelli D, Edder P, Corvi C, 2005. Pesticide residues survey in citrus fruits. Food Addit Contam 22 (5): 423-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02652030500089903 PMid:16019813

Ortí E, 2001. Determinación y análisis de las condiciones óptimas de trabajo de una trituradora de eje horizontal sobre restos de poda de cítricos. Doctoral thesis. Univ. Politécnica, Valencia, Spain.

Paniseo-Tafalla P, Roig-Reverté J, Ramoneda-Molins J, 2009. Situación actual del control de la mosca de la fruta, Ceratitis capitata, en Espa-a. Horticultura Internacional 70: 22-27.

Papadopoulos N, Carey J, Katsoyannos B, Kouloussis N, 1996. Overwintering of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) in northern Greece. Ann Entomol Soc Am 89: 526-534.

Papadopoulos N, Katsoyannos B, Carey J, 1998. Temporal changes in the composition of the overwintering larval population of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) in northern Greece. Ann Entomol Soc Am 91: 430-434.

Püntener W, 1981. Manual for field trials in plant protection. Agricultural Division, Ciba-Geigy Limited, Basel, Switzerland.

Putruele MTG, 1998. Estudios bioecológicos de Ceratitis capitata Wiedemann (Diptera: Tephritidae): Influencia de la temperatura sobre el estado larvario, dinámica poblacional y validación de un modelo epidemiológico para predecir su fenología. Doctoral thesis. Univ. Politécnica, Valencia, Spain.

Urbaneja A, Dembilio O, Tortosa D, Viñuela E, Castañera P, 2004. Efectos secundarios de tratamientos cebo usados para el control de Ceratitis capitata, sobre fauna útil. Phytoma Espa-a 160: 28-40.

Urbaneja A, Chueca P, Montón H, Pascual-Ruiz S, Dembilio O, Vanaclocha P, Abad-Moyano R, Pina T, Castañera P, 2009. Chemical alternatives to malathion for controlling Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) and their side effects on natural enemies in Spanish citrus orchards. J Econ Entomol 102: 144-151. http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/029.102.0121 PMid:19253630

Urbaneja A, Catalán J, Tena A, Jacas JA, 2011. Gestión integrada de plagas de cítricos. Available in http://gipcitricos.ivia.es. [8 October 2011].

USDA, 2002. Importation of clementines from Spain: final rule. USDA, Fed Reg 67: 64701-64739.

DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2013114-4585