Area Wide Management (AWM) of pests: guidelines and resources

Controlling pest species can be complex. Insect pests can be particularly hard to control due to their mobility and their ability to use different plants as hosts. They may also act as vectors for disease.

One approach to control a pest is Area Wide Management (AWM). There are many definitions of AWM, and the difference between AWM and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) can be a bit blurry. Below are the basic differences between the two.

  • AWM – growers and stakeholders work together to manage key pest that affects them all, and work in a coordinated way - at an area wide or regional level (i.e. within a defined geographical area)
  • IPM – each grower / manager applies their own best management practices - at a farm level.

The following resources are for managing Queensland fruit fly (Qfly), but may be useful to help you get started with other pests.

The Hort Frontiers guidelines for commercial growers to reduce Qfly using 8 steps are:

  1. Set your objectives 
  2. Define and investigate your area: where could flies be? 
  3. Monitor the Qfly 
  4. Be proactive
  5. Start locally then expand
  6. Engage other growers and community members
  7. Consider costs and funding
  8. Evaluate your progress.

This Hort Innovation video also provides a brief overview of the above 8 steps (to the left of the video). The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has also produced a useful overview video

There are also Hort Frontiers guidelines for Qfly management coordinators to assist with regional level engagement between multiple growers and stakeholders.

The current management options available for fruit fly are also useful to review to see what is applicable in your area, or on your farm. 

See Dr Penny Measham, Head of International Trade, Hort Innovation present on Area Wide Management for further information (the first 24 slides of 50).

Is there a region where AWM could be an opportunity? If so, let us know. Contact Donna Lucas, .