A new solution for the control of Fruit Spotting Bug and Banana Spotting Bug expected to be registered soon.

Bundaberg Trial

Fruit spotting bug (Amblypelta nitida) (FSB) and banana spotting bug (A. lutescens lutescens) (BSB) are devastating pests of avocados, macadamia nuts, and citrus as well as most tropical and subtropical tree crops including, guavas, pecan nuts, lychees, and mangoes. The two species of pests are virtually indistinguishable. These native species are highly mobile and can cause significant damage even at very low pest density. In the past FSB was often controlled using Endosulfan; however, with its withdrawal in 2010 growers have been forced to use broad spectrum chemicals to control FSB which cause disruption to beneficial insect populations. Knowing that growers needed a better solution, Dow AgroSciences invested in an extensive research program to register a new insecticide called Transform™ with regulatory approval anticipated in the coming months.

Dow AgroSciences senior research biologist Dr. Rob Annetts in collaboration with industry researchers and government scientists demonstrated that Transform controls FSB & BSB equivalent to Endosulfan as demonstrated in the trial data below.

The replicated trial carried out near Bundaberg, QLD assessed nut drop. Assessments were made by cutting each nut open and observing damage. The results demonstrated that Transform applied at 40ml/100L controlled FSB equivalent to Endosulfan after the first application (A), following a second application (B) the % of damaged nuts was significantly better than two applications of Endosulfan.

Growers and industry scientists recognise that the reliance on a very narrow range of insecticides for control of FSB and BSB is unsustainable. The long spray window and limited chemical control options has put a huge amount of pressure on the production system in the absence of viable alternatives. Unfortunately, the current chemical control options are non-selective and severely impact beneficial insects. With the introduction of Transform insecticide, growers now have greater flexibility to manage insect resistance with a new Mode of Action (MOA) whilst preserving key beneficial insects.

An application for the registration of Transform for the control of FSB and BSB is currently with the APVMA and Dow AgroSciences expect to be granted registration in the coming months.