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Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 19;6:21432. doi: 10.1038/srep21432.

Plant essential oils and potassium metabisulfite as repellents for Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae).

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School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Rd. E., Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1 G 2W1.
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, 4890 Victoria Ave. N., Box 4000, Vineland Station, Ontario, Canada, L0R 2E0.


Spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, is a globally invasive pest of soft-skinned fruit. Females oviposit into ripening fruit and larvae cause direct destruction of tissues. As many plant essential oils are permitted food additives, they may provide a safe means of protecting fruit from D. suzukii infestation in both conventional and organic production systems. Twelve oils and potassium metabisulfite (KMS) were screened in the laboratory as repellents for D. suzukii flies. Most essential oils deterred D. suzukii flies from cotton wicks containing attractive raspberry juice. Peppermint oil was particularly effective, preventing almost all flies from contacting treated wicks and remaining 100% repellent for 6 d post-application. Thyme oil was unique because it caused high male mortality and reduced the number of responding flies compared to other oils. KMS was not found to be repellent to D. suzukii, but may have fumigant properties, particularly at high concentrations. Peppermint oil appears to be the best candidate for field testing to determine the effectiveness and feasibility of using essential oils as part of a push-pull management strategy against D. suzukii. This is the first time that essential oils have been evaluated and proven effective in preventing fruit-infesting flies from contacting attractive stimuli.

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