Scientists in Queensland suppose they're on the way to developing an early warning system for a bug that costs fruit and nut growers along the east coast $20 million a year.
Fruitspotting bugs harm the surface of things like avocados, macadamias, lychees, mangos and papayas. Senior government entomologist Dr Harry Fay says they're the most destructive pest in the horticultural sector after fruit fly.
He says they're very tiny and green, so hard to spot in an orchard. In work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the scientists have found a way to synthesize a sexual attractant created by male fruitspotting bugs.
The fake male pheromone has now been productively trialled to trap female bugs.
Dr Fay says finding the bugs as soon as they enter in a crop can tell a grower when to spray to prevent damage.
It may be up to two years before a trap is commercially accessible.