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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ENTOMOLOGY ​DIVISION​​

​​​Freque​​​ntly Asked Questions​​

 ​      Responsible Officers:

        Mrs. N. PATEL     -   ​Scientific Officer​
​        Mrs. S. RAGHOO -   ​Scientific Officer​

Implementation of fruit fly control for tree fruits
Advice on fruit fly control in vegetable crops 
Pest and diseas​e control of fruit trees
Biological control of the spiralling whitefly
Biological control of the Cypress aphid
Advice on beekeeping and hive management
Fumigation for quarantine purposes​​


 ​Where can I obtain the protein bait mixture?

 The protein bait mixture is available free of charge at the following sites


​Which fruits are attacked by fruit flies?   
 Mango, Guava, Peach, Jujube (Masson), Loquat (Bibasse), Papaya etc.

​​​How can I control fruit flies and get good fruits?
Regular application of protein bait mixture or
Regular application of insecticides and
Collection and disposal of infested fruits.

Site of distribution​Tel No. ​
Réduit Office
Entomology Division
465 8652,
466 4983

Monday - Friday
7.30 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.
7.30 a.m. - 10.15 a.m.
Fruit fly sub-office, Mapou DC

266 8304
Monday - Friday
7.30 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.
7.30 a.m. - 10.15 a.m.
Fruit fly sub-office, Flacq DC

413 7256
Monday - Friday
7.30 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.
7.30 a.m. - 10.15 a.m.
Port Louis
Jardin Compagnie near Cinema Majestic
Wednesday12.00 - 1.00 p.m.
Rivière des Anguilles DC

626 3068
Tuesday10.00 - 1.30 p.m.


​At what interval should I apply the protein bait mixture?

At weekly interval.
The bait should be collected fresh and applied within 24 hours 

​How should I apply the protein bait mixture?

The bait mixture is applied with a plastic bottle (with a few holes in the cork) on the underside of the leaves. No spraying equip​​ment is required.​​​


​     Photo 3. Plastic bottle with protein bait and cap with holes
Photo 4. Application of protein bait: bottle technique

When can I harvest my fruits following bait application?
After four days.
However, if care is taken to apply the mixture only under the leaves, fruits can be harvested after one day. Wash well before eating.​
How should I dispose of the infested fruits?
Collect all infested fruits, both from the tree and from the ground, place them in a plastic bag, tie tightly and expose in the sun.

​​Photo 5. Collection and disposal of fruits in sealed plastic bag

Can fruit flies be controlled without using pesticides?

     Either individual fruit, fruit clusters or the whole tree can be bagged.

Fruit Bagging

  Advice on fruit fly control in vegetable crops​         

Responsible ​Officers: ​ ​​​​
Mrs. N. PATEL​​​
Scientific Officer
​Mrs. S. RAGHOO​Scientific Officer

​Use of protein bait for the control of fruit flies in cucurbits
(cucumber, pumpkin, squash, bi​ttergourd, snakegourd, bottlegourd, ridgegourd etc.)


​​How can I control fruit flies in my cucurbit plantations?

Regular application of protein bait mixture,
Regular application of insecticides,
Collection and disposal of infested fruits and 
Use of traps containing cotton wicks  impregnated with cuelure and insecticide

Photo 6. Application of protein bait under the leaves of maize plant

Photo 7. 
MAT placement on guava plant for melon fly control in vegetables plantation

Where can I obtain the protein?
     The protein bait is available free of charge to planters with less than one arpent.

Site of distributionDaysTime
Réduit Office
Entomology Division
Tel No: 465 8652,   466 4983
Monday - Friday
7.30 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.
7.30 a.m. - 10.15 a.m.
Fruit fly sub-office, Mapou DC
Tel No: 266 8304
Monday - Friday
7.30 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.
7.30 a.m. - 10.15 a.m.
Fruit fly sub-office, Flacq DC
Tel No: 413 7256
Monday - Friday
7.30 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.
7.30 a.m. - 10.15 a.m.

Rivière des Anguilles DC
Tel No: 626 3068

Tuesday10.00 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.

At wha​t interval should I apply the protein bait?​​​
     At weekly interval.​
     The bait should be mixed with an insecticide and applied within 24 hours.
 How should I apply the protein bait ?
     The bait mixture is applied on the underside of the leaves as spot sprays.

How should I dispose of the infested fruits?
​     Collect all infested fruits and either
          (i) place them in a plastic bag, tie tightly and expose in the sun or
          (ii) bury the fruits at a depth of at least 30 cm.​​


Biological  Control of the Spiralling Whitefly (SWF) 

​The spiralling whitefly, Aleurodicus dispersus was reported for the first time in Mauritius in July 2000. This pest is native to Central America, the Caribbean region and the Pacific Islands. This insect is highly polyphagous and has rapidly attained pest status thus infesting a wide range of fruit trees, shade trees, ornamentals and certain vegetables crops. The insect derives its name from its egg laying pattern.​

​What is being done by the Entomology Division?​
​The Entomology Division is at present using one coccinellid predator, Nephaspis bicolor to control the SWF. It has been introduced from Trinidad in 2003.
Both males and females are very small. Sizes vary from a length of 1.3 to 1.6 mm and width 0.79 to 1.15mm. 
Males have yellow prothorax. In the female the pronotum is black with a yellow patch on each side.
Few places where release of Predators were carried out
Beau Bassin, Pointe aux Sables, Tamarin, Port Louis, Cap Malheureux, etc.

   What is Biological control?
      Biological Control involves the use of one or more living organism(s) / natural enemy/ies to control another organism. It is used to keep pest populations below damaging levels.

    Benefits of Biological Control
          Specifically targets the SWF thereby reducing the population levels, while posing no threat to other beneficial insects.

Presents no danger to human health.
Is environmentally friendly.
Offers a cheaper, more effective alternative to the use of chemicals.
Provides sustained long-term control without any human intervention.
​ How can you help in the biological control of the Spiralling White Fly?  

​​​(Pamphlet - Spiralling White Fly)

               Learn to recognize the SWF pest in your backyard.

Find out whether the coccinellid predator is present in your area.
Once the natural enemy is present in your backyard, learn to recognize them.
Protect the coccinellid predator by NOT spraying insecticides.


                                                                                                                    BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF CYPRESS APHID

Cypress aphid, Cinera cupressivora was first reported in Mauritius in 1999. This pest is native to the Meditteranean region and had entered the African continent in 1986 in Malawi. This pest feeds on members of the conifer family Cupressaceae (cypress and cedar). In Mauritius, the pest attacks cypress trees mainly Juniperus bermudiana and to a lesser extent Thuja spp.

How did the pest gain entry in Mauritius?

It is rather unlikely that this can ever be known, but there exists three possibilities for its entry into our country namely:
Carried by wind over long distances
Accidental entry by boat or by plane
Smuggling of an infested seedling or twig into the country


Adults range from 2-5 millimetres long and are dark-coloured, long-legged insects. Both winged and wingless forms occur but the latter one is most common.

​                                      ​Photo 10. Cypress aphid Cinara cupressivora on twig of cypress plant
Adult aphid on cypress twig 

The aphid feeds on a wide range of sites varying from green to woody stems. Damage mainly occurs by sap feeding hence causing yellowing and browning of foliage.

Feeding retards new growth and causes desiccation of the stems and a progressive dieback of heavily infested trees.

Large amount of honeydew is also produced by the aphid, thereby acting as medium for growth of sooty mould and hence reducing photosynthesis and gas exchange.
In other countries, severe economic damage is caused by the aphid in commercial plantations. Locally, it affects the aesthetic value of our cypress and is the cause for the death of many trees.

Management of  CYPRESS APHIDS

Several approaches such as biological, genetic, silvicultural and chemical control are being employed in many countries for managing the pest. The best strategy is one which is ecologically and economically efficient and socially accepted.

Biolgical Control Approach

Several natural enemies have been observed locally namely lacewings, ladybirds, hoverflies and spiders, but these are generalist biological control agents and their action is not significant enough to exert sufficient control over the aphids.
A parasitic wasp, Pauesia juniperorum has given promising results in other cypress growing countries to control the pest.

The adult is about 10 mm long with a black head, brown-black thorax, yellow legs and a yellowish abdomen which becomes darker in older insects.

This parasitoid was imported from Kenya. In 2003, 2004 and 2005 the biocontrol agent was released in several regions. 

The biological control agent was observed in the field several months after release. It is expected that successful establishment will be attained after several releases. More parasitoids will be imported and released during 2006.

Advice to People owing Cypress Trees​

Observing if aphids are present
Watering of trees during dry periods
Trimming of dead branches
Hand picking of aphids for small plants
Planting of other species of cypress, eg. Thuja spp


       Responsible Officer: Mr Jamalkhan, Mr. H. Bucktowar, Mr A. Hardowar

    1. How do I proceed if I want to start bee keeping?

You can contact the Apiculture Unit (Tel No: 454 6390, 465 8652 and 466 4983) for advice on construction/procurement of bee hive, purchase of bee colonies and general advice on bee keeping.



Photo 11. Model beehive


Photo 12. Use of smoker to calm the honey bees

 Photo 13. Frame with honey bees on comb
Photo of a model of beehive

​2. What services are provided?

Advisory field visits, demonstrations of requeening, honey harvest, bee management etc. (Pamphlet on Apiculture)

3. Where can I obtain queen bees to replace the old queens in my bee colonies?

From the Apiculture Unit during the queen bee production season generally from November to April.

​Fumigation for quarantine purposes

Responsible Officers: Ms I. Buldawoo (Tel: 466 4983), P. Nundloll  466 6434

The Entomology Division provides a fumigation treatment service for agricultural commodities that are exported so as to minimise the risks of vehiculation of insects to and from our country.

1. Which fumigant does the Entomology Division use for treatment?

Quarantine treatment requires the use of an appropriate and internationally recognised fumigant. Phosphine (under the trade name Phostoxin) is presently used and it is widely accepted by many importing countries.

2. What should I know about phosphine?

Phosphine has some advantages over other fumigants:
It has excellent penetrating properties in commodities.
It is less costly.
It is easy to apply.
It is effective at high temperatures and relative humidities.

However, it has some disadvantages:
Like any chemical, It is toxic and harmful to inhalation or when in contact.
It reacts with metals like copper, brass, gold, silver.
Electrical or electronic equipment are damaged by phosphine.

3. In what circumstances is phosphine recommended for use?

Phosphine is specifically used to control insects (mainly stored products) found in the following: raw agricultural commodities (both plant and animal), animal feed and feed ingredients,processed foods, tobacco and certain non food items.

In general, the Entomology Division carries fumigation for the following commodities: wood, cotton, tobacco, stored seed and food grains (rice, pink pepper), high-value produce like coffee beans and dried fruits.

In general, phosphine is effective in storage buildings, food processing facilities, during transit (e.g. ship holds), or in plastic sheet enclosures.

4. Is phosphine recommended for use in fumigation of other agricultural produce like fruits and vegetables?

Growing plants, cut flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables show poor tolerance to phosphine.

5. What are the treatment procedures for phosphine?

The following conditions are necessary for effective fumigation:

Containers need to be properly sealed for treatment to take place and also to avoid any gas leakage in the neighbourhood.

Fumigated commodities need to be kept for 5 days as treatment period to allow the chemical to kill all stages of insect life cycle.

6. How do I apply for a treatment?

An agreement form should be read and duly signed by the Exporter as well as an officer from the Entomology Division.
>>DownloadAgreement form (Word version - 24 KB), (Pdf version - 81.9 KB)

The treatment fee is Rs 500 per container (20 feet) which is payable at the National Plant Protection Office  (Quarantine Services) at Réduit (Tel: 464 4874) or Mer Rouge (Tel: 242 4284).

7. Any information which one needs to know regarding fumigation?

I need to satisfy all conditions set especially regarding treatment procedures.
I have to send my request preferably in advance to the Entomology Division so that all requirements are satisfied before any fumigation is carried.​​