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Sterile flies success on African citrus

Sterile flies have successfully controlled false codling moths ( Thaumatotibia leucotreta) populations on citrus fruits in South Africa. The USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has collaborated with South African researchers, using the sterile insect technique, which is already used against Mediterranean fruit flies and pink bollworms among other pests. The South African work has “drastically reduced” moth populations in the regions covered. The research has been largely funded through the UN FAO, while the ARS has been motivated to pre-emptively control against the import of the pests into the US. It would damage citrus, cotton, maize and a wide range of fruit and nuts, it says.

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