Monitoring fruitspotting bugs and their damage
In this project we need to assess bug populations over a number odf seasons. How are we going to do this? Fruit spotting bugs are fairly elusive. They rarely appear in high numbers so that they are easily counted in a crop. A small number can do much damage. Monitoring the numbers of bugs is therefore very difficult and unpractical.
Monitoring the damage they cause is easier but still has difficulties. In this project we will endeavour to primarily monitor for bug damage. Different approaches are required for the differing crops.
Assessing damage at harvest may be useful in some crops while in others it may not give an accurate picture of bug activity and the damage that has been caused through the season.
Monitoring damage to fruit (or shoots in passionfruit) through the season is therefore most useful to us in determining the level of bug activity.
In macadamias this is fairly easilly done during early fruit development by discecting fruit. Its much harder to determine damage at the late stage. It may not show in the husk or shell and discetting at this stage is hard.
In avocados and custard apples much damaged fruit may be thinned as the season progresses so once again an ongoing assessment of damage is required to assess bug numbers.
Guidelines are provided for monitoring and sample monitoring sheets are provided.
A10 x hand lens is essential for monitoring
(Available from Bugs for Bugs, Mundubbera
Ph 07 4165 4663