Research project Developing effective methods for the surveillance of non-European Tephritids on Belgian territory

Fly - Rhagoletis pomonella Joseph Berger, -

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General introduction

True fruit flies of non-European origin (Diptera: Tephritidae) are devasting pests on fruit and vegetables. They could potentially also be harmful to crops in Belgium. To prevent the establishment and spread of true fruit flies in Belgium, it is important to detect these flies as early as possible. Hence, together with the Royal Museum of Central Africa, we aimed to develop an efficient surveillance program for non-European Tephritidae in Belgium. This project has now ended.

Research approach

A total of 53 non-European tephritid flies, including the apple maggot Rhagoletis pomonella, were eligible for surveillance in Belgium. Traps with a combination of different lures are recommended for monitoring non-EU tephritid flies, with traps with dry attractants being preferred. Possible introduction routes were mapped, with special attention given to introductions of non-European tephritids via airline passengers and crew originating from non-EU countries. Climatic modeling showed that certain regions of Belgium are suitable for the apple maggot, with their suitability possibly increasing in future climate scenarios.


Three specific surveillance programs have been established and it is recommended that these programs be implemented and their effectiveness evaluated after two years. It is also recommended that the Belgian population be involved (citizen science) in the development of a general surveillance program for non-EU tephritid flies.


FOD Volksgezondheid, Veiligheid van de voedselketen en Leefmilieu