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Field Trials on Biogenerated V-HF System to Control the Large Narcissus Fly

Shlomo Navarro*, Simcha Finkelman, Miriam Rindner, Refael Dias and Avi Azrieli

Department of Food Science, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, P. O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
e-mail: snavarro@volcani.agri.gov.il

Abstract: To develop a methyl bromide (MB) alternative control treatment based on vacuum, hermetic storage, or CO2 enriched controlled atmosphere against the large narcissus fly (Merodon eques) investigations were carried out by Rindner et al. (2003). The large narcissus fly Merodon eques is a quarantine insect species that attacks narcissus bulbs as well as bulbs of other geophytes. Fumigation with methyl bromide (MB) is the only gaseous rapid treatment available for handling infested bulbs. However, the most recent international resolution under terms of the Montreal Protocol, ending the use and production of methyl bromide as well as the phytotoxic effects of MB required further studies to find alternative fumigation methods. According to Rindner et al., (2003) LT99 values for Merodon eques maggot infested bulbs at 50 mm Hg absolute pressure, at hermetic conditions (for the bio-generation of modified atmospheres) and at 90% CO2 were 24, 34, and 24 h, respectively. Respiration of the bulbs, under hermetic conditions, depleted the O2 concentration to 0.1% and increased the CO2 to 21% within 24 h at 30ºC. The bio-generation of modified atmospheres under hermetic conditions did not adversely affect the germination levels of the bulbs. Based on these findings, Finkelman et al, (2002), reported on results of three semi-commercial experiments conducted in Israel. In these experiments, the effectiveness to control the large narcissus fly under hermetic conditions in a prototype of the newly developed V-HF (vacuum hermetic fumigation) system was demonstrated. The objective of the current work was to obtain additional information on the application of the bio-generation of modified atmospheres to control the narcissus flies as a quarantine alternative treatment to MB.

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