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Abstract

Most recently, a gall midge (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) was detected in shipments of hot pepper to the T'nited States. This was the first record of the pest in hot peppers in Jamaica. Its discovery and quarantine significance prompted the formation of a national task force which had the mandate of identifying and implementing a strategy to reduce infestation levels. Under the directive of the task force. the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute conducted a survey to determine the distribution and incidence of the midge in the Western parishes ofthe island where, based on interceptions, the incidence appeared to be highest. A relationship between infestation levels and fruit maturity was observed; mature fruits had the highest levels of infestation The gall midge was present in all parishes visited WIththe highest level of infested mature fruit being found on farms in Hanover (100%). Based on the production systems and the levels of the' pest observed, possible strategies, which may assist in reducing the levels of infestation. are identified and discussed.

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