The Ceratitis capitata (Medfly or Mediterranean fruit fly) is an agricultural pest that has spread throughout the Middle East, Western Australia, South and Central America, southern Europe, Hawaii, and the Mediterranean region. It can infest hundreds of varieties of nuts, fruits, and vegetables. The host list for the medfly can include avocado, bell pepper, citrus, coffee, eggplant, fig, lemon, lime, mango, and tomato.

To prevent the infestation of the medfly, the Moscamed Program is globally recognized as one of the first programmes to combat the medfly. Implemented by SENASICA (Servicio Nacional de Sanidad, Inocuidad y Calidad) with support from IICA (Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture), it uses a sterile insect technique (SIT) through an integrated management approach.

This method helps with the monitoring and control of fruit flies like the medfly. Other trapping methods include the use of Biodelear, which is a mixture of attracting compounds such as pyranones, pyrazines, and amorphous nitrogen-based polymers. This bait can be compared to the commercially used Biolure or the McPhail-type traps.

In Mexico, the Medfly Program encourages the population to assist authorities in implementing the emergency device. The population in the municipality of Chiapas are involved in the programme as they are involved in agricultural activities such as the production of corn, coffee, banana, and tomato. Mexico has maintained its phytosanitary status for the past thirty-eight years, being a country free of the Mediterranean fruit fly.

Additionally, there is a new state-of-the-art Mediterranean fruit fly irradiation and mass-rearing facility in Mexico. It sterilizes one billion flies a week. It was opened late last year with support from the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Read more about this from our sources below!


IICA – Smart Management of the Mediterranean fruit fly in Mexico strengthens food production

MPDI – Trapping of Ceratitis capitata Using the Low-Cost and Non-Toxic Attractant Biodelear

USDA – Mediterranean Fruit Fly

IAEA – New Mediterranean Fruit Fly Facility in Mexico to Keep Insect Pests at Bay and Save Fruit Production and Exports

CPHD Forum – Mediterranean Fruit Fly