Little wasps are out to protect the passion fruit

Adult female wasp is laying eggs in fruit fly larva.

Adult female wasp is laying eggs in fruit fly larva.

Fruit producers in the Los Santos zone are liberating hundreds of thousands of tiny parasitic wasp is the annual battle against fruit flies.

The wasps lay eggs in the larva of fruit flies and are seen as a control without pesticides.

The principal target of the fruit fly in that area is the  granadilla or passion fruit (Passiflora ligularis).

The Cooperativa de Productores Agrícolas y de Servicios Múltiples, an association of many producers, is involved in the liberation. The tiny wasps (Diachasmimorpha longicaudata)  are produced for this purpose by the  Servicio Fitosanitario del Estado. There is a  Programa Nacional de Mosca de la Fruta for this purpose.

The fruit flies not only attack the buds of the plant flower, but they also attack the fruit. That means there can be fruit fly larva in fruit that is going to be shipped. Other controls, such as fumigation and chilling are expensive.

Costa Rican officials also maintain a program of traps for the fruit flies. In addition to Anastrepha, there are two other species, Ceratitis and Toxotrypana, that can damage fruit. The wasp is effective against all three.

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