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Ongoing project

Improving fruit and banana spotting bug control (MT21017)

Key research provider: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Queensland

What's it all about?

This project is developing tools (such as traps and lures) to help avocado and macadamia growers manage fruit and banana spotting bugs. By providing growers with the information they need to target their pesticide applications, produce quality will improve and waste reduced.

The research team will develop an improved banana spotting bug trap with greater longevity and efficacy and a pheromone lure to attract and trap fruit spotting bugs.

The team consulted with adhesive scientists and engineers from Selleys on the development of a new and improved BSB trap. These experts offered advice on potential existing products or the possibility of engineering new ones.

To evaluate various options, the research team conducted laboratory tests using live cultured BSB and examined 25 "off the shelf" adhesives and tapes from different manufacturers and product types. The performance of each adhesive product in trapping and holding BSB was compared to that of the existing trap adhesive. Encouragingly, seven products demonstrated promise by effectively trapping BSB, comparable to the existing adhesive.

The next step involves subjecting the most promising adhesive products to sunlight degradation tests to assess their ability to maintain adhesion. Should these products outperform the existing trap adhesive even under sunlight exposure, they will be further evaluated in-field as a pheromone trap.

Simultaneously, work has commenced on development of an FSB pheromone lure. Bioassays using virgin adults of FSB are being conducted to determine the presence of natural pheromones, their degree of attraction, and whether they function as aggregation or sex pheromones.

An Entomologist has been engaged on the project in Mareeba and a Technical Officer has started working on the project in Brisbane (Dutton Park). The first team meeting was held in November 2022 by video link, which was attended by all the project research team, a Hort Innovation representative and a commercial partner. Cultures of both spotting bug species have been established in Mareeba and Brisbane.

Related levy funds

This multi-industry project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Avocado and Macadamia Funds