by SUSAN MANN
Ontario Fruit farmers have a new weapon in their fight against a new invasive pest, the spotted wing drosophila.
Two new formulations of Malathion insecticide have received emergency use registrations to control the insect on sweet cherries, stone fruit and berries. The labels are in effect until Nov. 30, it says in a press release from the product’s distributor, UAP Canada Inc.
Malathion is a Group 1B insecticide that has been registered for use in different capacities in Canada since 1953, the release says.
Phil Tregunno, chair of the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers’ Marketing Board, says it’s definitely a good thing there’s a new registration for an insecticide to control the spotted wing drosophila. “That’s an insect that has the potential to really impact the fruit industry.”
In the release, UAP’s national marketing manager Janet Porchak says Malathion should be used as part of an Integrated Pest Management program and in rotation with other insect management products as part of an effective resistance management strategy.
The spotted wing drosophila is a native of Southeast Asia and prefers relatively warm temperatures in the 20 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius range. Unlike other fruit flies that tend to focus on overripe or decaying fruit, the female spotted wing drosophila regularly lays eggs inside mature fruit prior to harvest.
It was first detected in North America in 2008. The Ontario agriculture ministry began monitoring for the pest in 2011 and monitoring continues this year. BF