The mango tree in central and northern Benin: damage caused by fruit flies (Diptera Tephritidae) and computation of economic injury level uri icon

abstract

  • Introduction. In the southern Sudanian zone of Benin, fruit flies are major pests and responsible for considerable yield losses in mango production. The two main species of economic importance affecting mango trees in Benin are Ceratitis cosyra and Bactrocera invadens. During the 2006 crop year and across seven main cultivars, losses stood at 17% in early April and exceeded 70% in mid-June. By the middle of the crop year, over 50% of losses occurred in mango orchards. Materials and methods. The Stone and Pedigo method was used to compute the economic injury level, using variables such as pest control costs, level of losses and mango prices. Results and discussion. The Economic Injury Level (EIL) was highly variable. For the cultivar Kent, for example, it varies from (30 to 75) fruit flies captured per ha and per week, whereas for Keitt the level ranges from (24 to 57) fruit flies.ha(-1).week(-1). EIL variability depends among other things on market price fluctuation. This method is based on the early introduction of detection traps in mango orchards. A weekly monitoring of trapped fruit flies is used to compute the EIL and make a decision about pest control. Pest control (GF-120 in this case) is recommended if the gross returns exceed production costs. If the number of trapped fruit flies is below the EIL, a treatment is not recommended because pest control will not be profitable. Conclusion. The EIL is an accurate tool to set the optimal (economic) timing of pest control treatment in mango orchards. These preliminary results should lead to the introduction of integrated pest management (IPM) activities to deal with the fruit fly species that are threatening the profitability of mango production in central and northern Benin.

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009