Fruit Fly Traps
A fruit fly outbreak in many parts of Australia has the potential to close export markets overnight, resulting in a need for close monitoring and swift deployment of control measures if an outbreak is detected. To detect fruit fly outbreaks, Australian state governments operate fruit fly monitoring grids consisting of thousands of pheromone-based traps. Each trap is manually visited and inspected for fruit fly capture on at least a fortnightly basis, which imposes a huge cost overhead.
Together with entomologists from CSIRO Agriculture we are developing a new generation of low-cost, low-maintenance fruit fly traps that can automatically and reliably detect the capture of a fruit fly, collect photographic evidence, and use wireless communications to notify relevant authorities of the detection. The new technology will permit far more timely notification of an outbreak, and with large-scale uptake has the potential to be more cost effective than the current manual inspection regime