Bait spraying is a prevention strategy that is most effective when used weekly. This ensures that male and female flies are regularly eradicated from your area.
The bait in the spray contains a protein attractant that is laced with insecticide. It is applied using a jet stream nozzle aimed at the trunk or foliage of the tree on every second row.
Growers often set up their all-terrain vehicles for this purpose, as the jet stream means only low water volumes are needed for application over an orchard, which is fast and affective.
Male Annihilation Technology (MAT) should be used in conjunction with Bait Spraying, it does not have to be applied as regularly. MAT products are pheromone based, so they attract males to a small credit card-sized pad containing insecticide. AmuletCL® is one of several such lure/toxicant products that is available and is commonly recommended at 16 pads per hectare. It lasts about three months before needing replacement.
In theory, the recommended application of 6–8 weeks before maturity of baiting and MAT on an isolated orchard is fine. However, most orchards have a mixture of other earlier varieties and may be close to a township where there is no fruit fly management. Therefore, external factors such as what is happening around the area need to be taken into consideration. If in doubt, a good general start date would be between the first of September and the first of October each year.