Queensland Fruit Fly

29 Nov 2012 9:29 AM - Important message from Riverina Biosecurity Incorporated

Queensland Fruit fly - It is Everyone's Problem

The Queensland fruit fly is Australia's worst fruit pest, costing fruit growers $100 million a year in lost income and eradication. Poorly maintained backyard fruit trees, with overripe and fallen fruit around their base, are one of the main sources of outbreaks in Australia's major fruit-growing areas. So, if you grow fruit trees in your backyard, our problem is also your problem. The success of a baiting program will rely on getting the majority of households with fruit trees in each neighbourhood involved. Baits must be sprayed every week. The baiting program must also be supported by good practices such as cleaning up all fallen fruit and picking all fruit as it ripens.

 Simple Things You Can Do to combat Queensland fruit fly

  • Remove any fruit trees you know you can't manage and replace them with non-fruiting varieties.  Loquat trees are a particular problem.
  • Keep your trees well pruned. Smaller trees are easier to manage.
  • Keep the ground under your fruit trees mown so it easier to pick up windfalls later in the season.
  • Allow chickens and other livestock to forage under your trees to clean up fallen fruit.  Although you may still need to pick up and dispose of uneaten fruit.
  • Remove all fallen fruit from under the trees.
  • Dispose of rotten and infected fruit by solarising in a well sealed plastic bag for several weeks before composting. Alternatively small quantities may be boiled, microwaved or frozen to kill insect eggs and larvae before disposal.
  • Do not put fruit or fruit scraps into uncovered compost bins or worm farms. Fruit flies will breed in these locations as happily as under trees.
  • Consider using exclusion bags or netting to keep fruit from being stung by fruit fly.
  • Consider baiting or spraying.  Products available for the control of fruit fly include splash baits and full cover sprays. Contact your local nursery or garden retail outlet for advice.

Help Your Neighbours

For various reasons people may need help to manage or remove their fruit trees.

Trees on public land are the responsibility of your local Council. Contact your local council to report problem trees on roadside verges or other public land.

For more information contact David Troldahl on 69512546 or email david.troldahl@dpi.nsw.gov.au