Fruitpiercing moth bait

Agri-Science Queensland has developed a bait to attract and kill fruitpiercing moths (Eudocima spp.). The pest is common in eastern and northern Australia, the Pacific, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

DAF's fruitpiercing moth bait can be hung from trees. Its wax coating limits both the loss of the toxicant inside and access by non-target species.

Improvement to current technology

Currently, there are no insecticidal sprays for these pests, and netting trees and bagging fruit or lights are not economical options.

The bait can be frozen before waxing for up to sixs months, which provides flexible storage and transport options.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority found that maximum residue limits are not necessary for the bait's two toxicants, which will help simplify registration. The small amount of toxicant should not pose a threat to mammals or birds.

Licence fees/royalties: To be negotiated (normally through an open tender process)

Product owner: State of Queensland, through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Release date: Invitation for expressions of interest now open

Industry area: Horticulture, especially citrus and other tropical fruits

Market opportunities

These moths attack at least 50 different fruits. Any damage that goes undetected in the packing shed means a loss of sound fruit in cartons. Globally, losses are in the hundreds of millions.

Baits should have a ready market in a range of tree fruit industries, but particularly in citrus (early season) and mangoes (late varieties). Assuming 10 per cent adoption, citrus and mango market demand is approximately 3 million baits per year.

Australia, the Pacific, Asia and South Africa have shown interest in the baits. The backyard market is also potentially large.

Intellectual property

The State of Queensland has filed patent application PCT/AU02/01203 for the bait. The Australian standard patent 2002331417 has been sealed.

DAF is looking for commercial individuals or entities interested in commercialising the baits, with a view to obtaining a licence to manufacture, promote and sell the technology. Potential exists for further collaborative research and development.

For further information, please contact our Customer Service Centre.