Agronomy for Sustainable Development (2015) 35, 937-965

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Jean-Philippe Deguine, Toulassi Atiama-Nurbel, Jean-Noël Aubertot, Xavier Augusseau, Morguen Atiama, Maxime Jacquot and Bernard Reynaud (2015)
Agroecological management of cucurbit-infesting fruit fly: a review
Agronomy for Sustainable Development 35 (3), 937-965
Abstract: Conventional crop protection with pesticides has limitations such as resistance of pests to pesticides and faunal imbalance. Agroecological crop protection is an attractive alternative based on the principles of agroecology. We present here this strategy using the case of Cucurbitaceae flies, which are the most important agricultural pests in Réunion. Research has been carried out on the bioecology of these insects and on the effectiveness of agroecological techniques. The main points are the following: the number of species of vegetable flies increased in the southern summer. Adult flies spend more than 90 % of their time on nonhost plants, with specific circadian rhythms. Several original agroecological techniques were designed, such as sanitation using augmentoria; trap plants, e.g., maize; adulticide bait; and the creation of habitats for predatory arthropods. Local growers are very satisfied with the results. They have reduced insecticide use with substantial cost savings and they have observed a decrease in losses and a lower phytosanitary workload. The education and training of students, professionals, and the general public has been a major aspect of this project. Increased knowledge of flies and agroecological management strategies of their populations can now be combined with modeling tools to facilitate the extension of the program to other areas or for educational purposes. Practices are currently being extended to other areas of the island and other countries of the Indian Ocean. This project is both a significant milestone for organic farming in Réunion and a precedent for other initiatives aimed at reducing or eliminating pesticides.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website


Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
control - general
environment - cropping system/rotation


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Zeugodacus cucurbitae Reunion Island
Dacus ciliatus Reunion Island