Recent cool weather has brought relief for Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) control across the
Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Coordinator Ross Abberfield said the current cold snap had already adversely impacted QFF numbers.
Existing fruit fly populations are now either searching for food or looking for refuge, rather
than breeding which occurs during the warmer weather.
“Most immature fruit flies will die during winter due to the significant drop in temperature and
many adult flies will die in the coming months, however there will be some adults that will in
fact survive the winter, which is called overwintering.
“These flies are typically newly bread flies from late-ripening fruit that have found themselves
in localised warm spots allowing for their survival over winter,” Mr Abberfield said.
It is the overwintering QFF population that will be the cause of next season’s fruit fly
Fruit fly numbers identified through the regional trapping program have dropped as a result of the cooler weather, however there are spots within urban areas that remain suitable for QFF survival throughout the winter so continued awareness and monitoring remains critical.
Protein-based traps and baits are still effective and should be used as they allow for
detection of overwintering fruit flies.
Traps should be placed in the morning sun, high in the canopy of evergreen trees in the
warmest position in the yard.
“Lemon trees are particularly favoured by QFF to overwinter in and should be carefully
monitored,” Mr Abberfield said.
Home gardeners and orchardists should apply fruit fly baits to control flies and help stop flies
surviving the winter and building up into damaging populations in spring.
As winter approaches, eggs, larvae and pupae are unlikely to survive winter but it is still
advisable to pick up fallen fruit and harvest late fruit.
Fallen fruit should not be thrown onto the compost heap as fruit flies can survive there. It is best to cook, freeze, mulch or solarise this fruit.
Winter is the ideal time to remove unwanted fruit trees from gardens and properties. The free Urban Fruit Tree Removal Program is available in participating councils and has been
successful in eliminating potential QFF breeding grounds across the region.
For more information about the program or QFF control and prevention pick up an information pack from your local Council’s Customer Service Centre or go to www.gmv-qldfruitfly.com.au