The Ministry of Agriculture is pleading with individuals to stop defacing or destroying its fruit fly traps.

This appeal has come from Technical Assistant 4 in the Entomology Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Allison Brathwaite.

The Technical Assistant 4 said that some people were using the traps as ???target practice???, by breaking them with rocks, while others were stealing them.

???You are not supposed to destroy government property. It is there to monitor how widespread the Fruit Fly is and if there is any other species that has come into the island. So, we are appealing to the general public that when you see them, don???t carry them away and don???t use them as target practice,??? she urged.

Head of the Entomology Department in the Ministry of Agriculture, Ian Gibbs, said that the Ministry had placed about 80 traps at various points throughout the island, including the ports of entry.

He explained that the traps were set up to monitor the levels of the West Indian Fruit Fly pest, which attacks plum and guava trees.

Mr. Gibbs noted that personnel from the Ministry visit the sites where the traps are placed every two weeks, to see how many flies have been caught and also to collect data. The data then gives them a record of the fruit fly population on the island for the year.

???If we find that the population is very heavy or spiking we can advise the growers or the farmers on what they can treat the trees with or any other measures they might take to reduce the [Fruit Fly] population ??? fruit flies are some of the most destructive pest of fruits and vegetables in the world,??? he stated.

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