Video transcription

Hi I'm Charles Boning, author of "Florida's Best Fruiting Plants." We're here today at Jene's Tropicals, and I'm here to answer the question, how to get rid of fruit flies permanently. The fruit fly is the bane of tropical growers throughout the south, especially here in Florida, but also in California and especially in Hawaii. The Caribbean fruit fly is a major pest here in Florida. The Caribbean fruit fly attacks a wide, broad array of fruits including guavas, loquats and others. There's no real way to permanently get rid of fruit flies. They're a constant companion of fruit growers without large scale government intervention. There are several methods that have been tried. Pesticides have been uniformly unsuccessful in getting rid of fruit flies. The flies simply disregard them, land on the fruit, lay their eggs through their ovipositors, and the maggots go and ruin the fruit. The other aspect of it is, fruit fly traps. Now these will reduce populations of fruit flies in the grove, but they certainly won't eliminate them. Another method that's been tried with some success, is inducing fruiting during the winter. For instance, guavas, which are a major host of fruit flies, can be induced to flower during the fall and produce fruit in the winter if they're pruned in the early fall. So that's one method. There's not as many fruit flies around in the winter. Perhaps the best method is simply planting fruit that aren't subject to fruit fly attack. Fruits with thick skin such as jack fruit, lychee and others, are simply immune to fruit flies. Jabuticaba is another good example. So, there's one final method of protecting fruit that are susceptible, and that's bagging the fruit. That's labor intensive, but it will prevent the fruit flies from getting at the fruit. Use either a fabric bag or a paper bag, rather than a plastic bag, because a plastic bag will cause rot to the fruit. So those are the basic methods of attempting to deal with fruit flies. I'm Charles Boning.