FAO confirmed on its website that they use the sterile insect technique to stop losses of food and livelihood in this Mexican state where recent outbreak of the fruit fly was a bad news.
It warns that this voracious pest was eradicated in Mexico in the 1980s by FAO and IAEA, but insects know no borders and, unfortunately, with climate change, increase of trade and global travels favoring the spread of pests, this fly has returned to Colima, an important horticultural state, and threatens to wreak havoc.
Fortunately, it adds, Mexico, FAO and IAEA were prepared for this scenario through the Joint FAO/IAEA Center of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, which responded to a government request to assist in plant protection.
It revealed they are developing an emergency plan using the sterile insect technique to contain and eradicate this pest.
Fruit flies (Ceratitis capitata) are considered among the world’s most devastating insect pests. They lay their eggs in fruits and vegetables, and when they hatch, the larvae feed on the pulp. Keeping orchards fly free is a prerequisite for exports to many countries.