The sterile insect technique (SIT), a benign pest control strategy, is currently undergoing a substantial renewal for controlling the Queensland fruit fly (Q-fly), a major horticultural pest in Australia. Production and delivery of high-quality flies is fundamental to effective SIT. While efforts are commonly made to improve production at a factory level (both quantity and quality), the methods and conditions during post-production operations also need to be tuned to minimize reductions in fly quality. Hypoxia, irradiation and vibration are important stressors that are experienced by pupae during production, packing and transportation.
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Photo: Dr Maurizio Benelli, Applied BioSciences, Macquarie University.