The Citrus Research & Education Institute (CREI) began implementing a strategic approach to controlling Mexican fruit-fly (or Mex-fly) in the citrus industry. As part of these efforts CREI has established a pilot programme in the South Stann Creek area of the industry and is receiving technical support and some equipment inputs from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA has extensive expertise in area-wide control programmes for fruit flies.
CREI established a fruit-fly population monitoring programme in the pilot area, November 2007, and now has a good data set that shows how Mex-fly populations vary through a twelve month period. From August 2008, control strategies have been implemented in the pilot area with CREI's fruit-fly control spray team targeting Mex-fly "hot-spots" and CREI staff working with growers in the areas to improve their methods of fruit-fly control.
Effective control of Mex-fly using an area-wide Integrated Pest Management approach in the citrus production zones would allow the development of fruit-fly free areas. Citrus could be exported to fruit fly free markets from these areas without quarantine restriction, also the factory would increase the amount of pulp presently being extracted for the export market.