Queensland fruit fly update

News Update 21 September 2018

Baiting finishes but Quarantine Area still in place

No news is good news, with there being no further detections of Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) since May 2018.

However, it is critical that residents in Como and surrounding suburbs continue to comply with the Quarantine Area restrictions, which will remain in place until at least November 2018. Despite the cold weather, with not many flies around, Qfly is known to over-winter in fruit and trees such as citrus, loquats and apples.

In accordance with the Queensland fruit fly Code of Practice, which stipulates that baiting continues for three months from the date of the last detection, baiting of Como properties close to the detection points concluded on 18 August 2018.

However, the Quarantine Area timeframe has been extended to take into account the winter months when flies can be dormant. Maintaining the Quarantine Area boundaries provides additional assurance that we have contained this pest, and on the road to eradication.

The department is appreciative of the support shown to date, in particular residents who allowed access to their properties for regular baiting.

During the baiting program, 1182 properties (94 per cent) located within the 200m zone were contacted to seek access to their properties for weekly baiting and surveillance activities. More than 3500 baitings on 608 properties were carried out.

New rules for green waste left out for collection

City of South Perth residents are undergoing a green waste collection. In accordance with the Quarantine Area rules, residents must:

  • strip all fruit and vegetables from green waste
  • dispose of fruit and vegetables by eating, cooking, freezing (minimum 24 hours) or sealing in heavy-duty black plastic bags and placing in direct sunlight for three days
  • after applying one of these treatments, place bags in the rubbish, compost or feed to chooks
  • call 9368 3080 if you have any questions or require assistance with disposal.

Collected green waste is taken to the City of South Perth recycling centre. Even though the recycling centre is located within the Quarantine Area, the movement of potentially infested fruit could spread Qfly from one part of the Quarantine Area to another.

Keep up the awareness

Community support and mainting awareness of fruit and vegetable movement and disposal restrictions is vital to a successful eradication program.

While ongoing compliance may be frustrating, and may seem unnecessary given no recent detections, it is imperative to stop any potential spread of Qfly to protect fruit production in WA.

Additionally, the department will maintain vigilance and be ready for immediate action should further flies be detected as the weather warms up. It is important that residents maintain awareness and regularly check their backyard fruit and vegetables for signs of infestation.

Qfly attacks a wide range of commercial and native trees, vine fruits, fruit and fruiting vegetables such as eggplant, tomato, capsicum and chili. Report any suspect signs or fruit fly maggots to the department immediately. Qfly is hard to distinguish from the already present Mediterranean fruit fly, so report any fruit flies seen.

Quarantine Area restrictions

  • No movement of home-grown fruit and vegetables to locations outside of the Quarantine Area.
  • Disposal of fallen, ripening or infested fruit every three days.
  • The same rules apply to fruit and vegetables grown in community gardens.
  • Do not give away, trade or sell excess citrus. The department is appealing to online sellers located within the Quarantine Area to remove their advertisements until further notice.

Suggestions for fruit fly management

Even when a Quarantine Area does not exist, residents growing fruit and vegetables should incorporate fruit fly management into their ordinary gardening practices.

Fruit fly control should be carried out all year round. Control options include:

  • Prune plants and trees to a manageable size.
  • If you do not collect the fruit you are better off striping the fruit as they start to form or remove the plants or trees completely.
  • Residents can install home-made or commercial fruit fly traps. Simple trap instructions and trap recipes are available from the department’s website.
  • Residents can bait trees with NaturalureTM, Nature’s way® or other similar baits.
  • You can also bag fruit or net trees with fruit fly netting or exclusion bags.

Reporting options

If you suspect you have seen Qfly, or have questions about the eradication program:

For more information on Qfly and the eradication program, visit DPIRD’s website.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development