How IRSEA is fighting Drosophila Suzukii,

What is the Drosophila suzukii project? 

The project around aims to study the spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii,

This fly is an invasive species from Asia. It arrived in Europe and North America in 2008.

Due to the favourable climate for its development, the absence of predators and the increased attractiveness of this species for a wide range of fruits, Drosophila suzukii has developed particularly well in Europe, putting a strain on the work of farmers.

The aim of IRSEA's research is to find a way to control this fruit-eating pest.

There are two complementary aspects to this project: firstly, we are trying to find a way to repel the fly from the fruit fields. Unlike other species of fruit flies that usually attack damaged fruit, this one has the ability to lay eggs on healthy, ripe fruit, making it unfit for consumption.

Secondly, we are trying to find a way to attract the fruit flies out of these fields, ideally in a trap.

The idea of this Push and Pull strategy is to provide a doubly effective and complementary solution.

The Push and Pull strategy is commonly used in pest management and integrated pest management methods.


It is important to note that, to date, there are no real solutions for controlling Drosophila.


A multi-departmental project

Within the IRSEA, the Chemical Ecology Department (DEC) is in charge of this project. The DEC's mission is to identify elements that can repel or attract Drosophila. Once a relevant element has been identified, it is the turn of the Department of Molecular Biology and Chemical Communication (DBMCC) to analyse this element and to identify the semiochemicals that participate in this repulsive or attractive action.

Today, it is the DBMCC that is analysing and identifying the semiochemicals.

We are also using bioinformatics to multiply our approaches.


Promising future ambitions. 

It is important to point out that, to date, there are no real solutions for controlling Drosophila. Pesticides have rightly been banned, while traps are less effective and non-specific, i.e. they catch all insects without distinction.

If we can come up with a natural, effective and specific method against Drosophila suzukii, it would benefit fruit growers while preserving the ecosystem and the environment.   


(+33)04 90 75 57 00
Monday - Friday 08h|17h
Closed on Saturdays
Closed on Sundays
Quartier Salignan
84 400 APT