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Eradication of a Transient Actionable Entry of Bactrocera scutellata (Hendel) in Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Devices (Jackson Traps baited with Cuelure + Malathion) used in the implementation of the Male Annihilation Technique (MAT) against B. scutellata.


A transient entry of the fruit fly Bactrocera scutellata (Hendel) was recorded on 2 February 2018 in Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico (the main port of entry for trade with Asia). In total, nine male specimens were caught in eight traps of the surveillance trapping and delimiting trapping system. The B. scutellata is considered to be one of the most important pests of cucurbits in Asia. The infestation was deemed eradicated on 30 September 2018 as nine biological cycles had elapsed without any additional detection since the last specimen had been captured on 25 April 2018.. The eradication was declared by the Plant Protection General Directorate SENASICA-SAGARPA, Mexico City, in an information note on 7 November 2018.

The use of the male annihilation technique (MAT) and delimiting trapping was intensified in the last six life cycles, following the recommendations of the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture’s expert, who provided advice through the IAEA technical cooperation project RLA/5/070 “Strengthening Fruit Fly Surveillance and Control Measures Using the Sterile Insect Technique in an Area Wide and Integrated Pest Management Approach for the Protection and Expansion of Horticultural Production (ARCAL CXLI)”. Eradication actions were enacted according to the “Action Plan Against Bactrocera scutellata (Hendel) on National Territory” and based on the International Standards of Phytosanitary Measures N° 8 relative to the determination of pest status in an area; No. 9 relative to the directives for pest eradication programmes; and No 26 on the establishment of pest free areas for fruit flies.

Locations of Bactrocera scutellata transient entry, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico. Circles represent the areas where the specimens were detected according to the emergency response protocol of SENASICA-SAGARPA.

Corrective actions were implemented in a delimited area of 398 km2, where 1,104 traps were installed, with 29,790 trap services and inspections; 1,457 fruit host samples were dissected, 10,145 MAT devices deployed (Jackson Traps baited with Cuelure + Malathion) and the localized spraying of 5,657 litres of the Spinosad based insecticide-bait took place. Overall, 99 technicians participated in the Action Plan at different time periods.

In addition to the service provided by SENASICA structure per se, the financial investment of the Federal Government on the execution of the Plan amounted to US $1.3 million.

Following the Action Plan procedures, the MAT devices were gradually retrieved from the field and disposed of. Based on the assessed risk of introduction and spread of this transient actionable pest, the trapping network will be restructured in the urban area and at the Manzanillo Port (main port of entry of trade from Asia), increasing the numbers from 48 to 567 permanent traps. In addition, the trapping network against non-native invasive species of quarantine significance will be reinforced along the Pacific Coast including: Topolobampo and Mazatlán, Sinaloa; Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán; Salina Cruz, Oaxaca and; and Puerto Chiapas, Chiapas.

With the eradication of this pest entry and the strengthening of the trapping network, a total area of 473,000 hectares of cultivated hosts is being protected with an estimated production of 11.3 million tonnes valued at US $3.3 billion according to the Mexican Servicio de Información Agroalimentaria y Pesquera.


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