The eastern fruit fly, whose scientific name is Bactrocera dorsalis, has recently been spotted in Campania, in two orchards in the provinces of Naples and Salerno. It is an insect from tropical Asia, very similar to the common olive fly, Bactrocera oleae, from which it stands out, however, thanks to its larger size, being about twice as large: 8 mm, compared to 4-5 mm of the first. It has the black scutellum and the yellowish scutellum, whilst on the sides of the prickly pear tree we can see yellow bands, called vitte, and on the back of the abdomen a “T” shaped dot.
The oriental fruit fly, also known as the oriental fruit fly, is a very polyphagous insect, able to attack more than 470 plants, among which: Citrus sp., Malus sp., Prunus sp., Diospyros sp., Vitis sp., Pyrus sp., as well as some solanaceae (especially tomato) and cucurbits (including watermelon, cucumber and pumpkin). The damage it causes is caused by the larvae, which develop in the attacked fruit, feeding on the mesocarp and causing the disintegration of the tissues and/or the premature falling-off. With a temperature of 30°C the development from egg to adult can take place in only 9 days and a female can produce up to 3000 eggs, often laid in groups in the ripe fruits, piercing the epidermis, thanks to the replacement ovipositor, typical of tefritides.
Nowadays, the Bactrocera dorsalis is present in more than 65 countries, in Asia, Africa, Oceania and Pacific islands. It is the first reported in Campania in Europe and in the whole Mediterranean basin. It potentially represents an enormous danger for the Italian fruit and vegetable sector, and not only. The presence of this insect, or fruits whose attack is attributable to it, must be immediately reported to the Regional Phytosanitary Service, at the following e-mail address: [email protected]
Green Bugs, How To Protect Your Plants
Green bugs, also known as plant bugs are heteroptera insects, of the family Pentatomidae. They are very easy to recognize, due to their color, which varies from light green to green/yellow. In adulthood they can reach 15 mm in length. Plant bugs are also known for the typical unpleasant smell they emit when disturbed, as a real defence tool.
In Italy the green bug is very widespread, especially among plants in the garden, it is greedy for tomatoes and is strongly attracted by the smell of laundry. It feeds on leaves and fruit, on the sap of plants, but does not attack humans (unlike bedbugs). The plant bug prefers to move during the daytime hours, it is very difficult to see it at night.
Plant bugs represent a great danger for plants because with their stings they cause the death of the flower buds and the deterioration of the plant, which becomes yellowish in colour. The damage is immediately visible on the leaves and fruit.
The leaves have localised necrosis and drying out. On the fruits, on the other hand, the stings of the green bug cause punctures that quickly become necrotic. In addition, the fruits take on a very bad taste.
How to Intervene
The plants infested by green bugs, can be treated with pyrethroid based insecticides, sprayed with professional equipment, able to deliver them in the most rational and effective way. In this way, clear results can be obtained quickly, considerably reducing the possibility that the green bugs reach other environments, such as homes and/or offices.
Particular attention should be given to laundry: as mentioned above, green bugs are attracted by the scent of freshly washed clothes, so they can be introduced into the house unintentionally, just through the freshly picked up laundry. It is, therefore, always advisable to check the baskets in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.