Queensland fruit fly eradicated from Como

News Update 23 November 2018

Quarantine Area restrictions lifted

The Qfly eradication program in Como and surrounding suburbs has come to a successful end, with there being no further detections since May 2018.

The Quarantine Area restrictions introduced in May 2018, encompassing Como, South Perth, Karawara, Bentley and Kensington, are now lifted, meaning that local people can share their home-grown fruit and vegetables with people outside of the area.

Thanks to eradication, local growers have been able to reclaim area freedom from this destructive pest. This means continued access to some interstate and overseas markets where Qfly is not present.

During the baiting program, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development made direct contact with 94 per cent (1182) of properties located within a 200m radius of the detection points, to seek access to their properties to look for host plants.

The department recognises that the effort of residents to contact them and make appointments for them to visit was an impost on time.

Properties with host plants were visited weekly to apply bait spray and carry out surveillance. More than 3500 baitings on 608 properties were carried out.

Overall, the entire eradication campaign was a concerted effort also involving support from industry, the City of South Perth and Town of Victoria Park, businesses, community gardens and groups, and markets.

Also critical to successful eradication was the participation of the community at large in complying with Quarantine Area restrictions on the movement and disposal of home-grown fruit and vegetables. Again, the level of support does not go unacknowledged.

While baiting of properties close to the detections finished in August, the Quarantine Area period was extended until 2 November to take into account the winter months, when flies can become dormant.

The department appreciates that ongoing compliance with the Quarantine Area restrictions over such a long period was difficult, but this was critical to achieving this great outcome.

The extended Quarantine period provided additional assurance that all efforts were being taken to achieve eradication.

Ongoing vigilance is the path to success

Western Australia is considered free of Qfly and this is the sixth time the department has successfully eradicated an incursion of this fruit pest from Perth since the 1980s.

Thanks to the department’s permanent fruit fly trapping system of 1,900 traps across the Perth metropolitan area, all new outbreaks have been detected early – allowing the department to act quickly. This early warning system helps WA to prove area freedom from Qfly.

If Qfly was to become established in WA, the impact on horticultural industries would be dramatic and devastating, and additionally would make it difficult to grow backyard fruit and vegetables.

The threat of new pests and diseases becoming established in WA is always present. Regularly check your garden, and send reports and photos of pests or signs of disease via the reporting options below.

This includes fruit flies, even if you think it might be Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly), which is commonly found in Perth. Qfly can be easily mistaken for Medfly, although Qfly is larger and reddish brown with clear wings.

What is better than no Qfly – no fruit flies at all!

Even though Qfly has been eradicated, Medfly continues to impact on commercial and backyard fruit production in Western Australia. You can help by controlling fruit fly on your own properties, all year round.

You can follow the simple guidelines below, or find out more about management options on our Medfly web pages.

Make sure your neighbours are doing the same. The best outcomes are achieved through coordinated efforts.

How to control fruit fly on your property

Remove ripe, fallen or infested fruit
Install home made or commercial fruit fly traps
Bait regularly (Naturalure™, Nature’s way® or similar baits)
Infested fruit must be treated before disposal

Soak in a bucket of water with oil film (3 days)
Seal in black plastic bag and place in the sun (3-5 days)
Boil fruit, or
Freeze (2 days)
After treatment fruit can be composted or thrown in the bin.

Reporting options

Send photos using MyPestGuide Reporter (download the app or make an online report)

Send photos to padis@dpird.wa.gov.au, or Call 9368 3080.