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Pest Manag Sci. 2016 Mar;72(3):456-65. doi: 10.1002/ps.3905. Epub 2014 Oct 8.

Eradication of tephritid fruit fly pest populations: outcomes and prospects.

Author information

The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre, Canberra, Australia.
Better Border Biosecurity, New Zealand.
AgResearch Limited, Hamilton, New Zealand.
School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, Seibersdorf Laboratories, Seibersdorf, Austria.
Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, Vienna International Centre, Vienna, Austria.
NSW Department of Primary Industries, Orange, New South Wales, Australia.



The number of insect eradication programmes is rising in response to globalisation. A database of arthropod and plant pathogen eradications covers 1050 incursion responses, with 928 eradication programmes on 299 pest and disease taxa in 104 countries (global eradication database


A subset of the database was assembled with 211 eradication or response programmes against 17 species of fruit flies (Tephritidae) in 31 countries, in order to investigate factors affecting the outcome.


The failure rate for fruit fly eradication programmes was about 7%, with 0% for Ceratitis capitata (n = 85 programmes) and 0% for two Anastrepha species (n = 12 programmes), but 12% for 13 Bactrocera species (n = 108 programmes). A number of intended eradication programmes against long-established populations were not initiated because of cost and other considerations, or evolved during the planning phase into suppression programmes. Cost was dependent on area, ranged from $US 0.1 million to $US 240 million and averaged about $US 12 million (normalised to $US in 2012). In addition to the routine use of surveillance networks, quarantine and fruit destruction, the key tactics used in eradication programmes were male annihilation, protein bait sprays (which can attract both sexes), fruit destruction and the sterile insect technique.


Eradication success generally required the combination of several tactics applied on an area-wide basis. Because the likelihood of eradication declines with an increase in the area infested, it pays to invest in effective surveillance networks that allow early detection and delimitation while invading populations are small, thereby greatly favouring eradication success.


Tephritidae; bait; incursions; male annihilation; quarantine; sterile insect technique; surveillance; trap

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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