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Chile: Remote controlled solar traps to detect fruit fly

Pests cause problems by damaging the crops and food production, parasitizing farm animals and causing health hazard to human beings. The fruit fly is one amongst them, considered a big threat to many fruits and vegetables. Now a new trap has been developed.

The Agricultural and Livestock Service, SAG, continues its fight against the fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata). Currently, it is using solar traps, equipped with a camera and autonomous climate sensors, to detect this dreaded agricultural pest in real time.

The experimental plan was presented in the commune of Pica by the Regional Minister of Agriculture, Fernando Chiffelle and the Director of the Tarapaca region SAG, Sue Vera, who supervised the installation of 35 of these experimental traps.

While fruit files spend the majority of their time on fermenting food, they also make the occasional pit stop on plates, cutlery, drinking glasses and even toothbrushes. While you may not consume the contaminated produce itself, when you eat or drink from these objects, you’re exposed to the same bacteria the fruit fly has transported from site to site. 

Minister of Agriculture Chiffelle: "We are incorporating technology that will allow us to, for example, send information by phone to know what kind of fly was caught in these new traps, optimizing important human resources, as officials won't have to go to extreme locations to check the traps in person."

Marco Muñoz, the head of the Plant Health Department of the SAG: "The device is made up of a Jackson trap that was placed on a platform that has photovoltaic cells in its upper base so that it has the autonomy to work. It has a temperature and humidity sensor and a camera to take pictures, so that an algorithm identifies if the insects captured are fruit flies or other kinds of insects; thus allowing us to make a quick diagnosis. This type of tool allows us to explore its use for other quarantine pests for our country.”


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