If one adult female mates with one adult male she can lay up to 2,000 eggs in her lifetime, which is about 2 months in the warm weather. From these eggs she could produce 800 mature adult QFF of which approximatively half are female. If conditions are ideal, these 400 females are again ready to reproduce possibly within 4 to 6 weeks. This is why QFF populations can explode during summer and autumn.

Removal of Unmanaged Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) Habitat

Unmanaged habitat is the single biggest issue preventing the Goulburn Murray Valley (GMV) from becoming an Area of Low Pest Prevalence and delaying the region’s readiness for the release of sterile male QFF’s. To date the GMV Fruit Fly Project has removed over 2,100 unwanted fruit trees from residential properties. The project has identified nearly 10,000 unmanaged QFF host trees and plants on private and government lands that are currently being actioned for removal and eradication. Approximately 250 ha of unmanaged orchards have also been identified in the GMV region. The GMV Regional Fruit Fly Program can assist in the removal of fruit trees from unmanaged orchards — strict conditions apply. The process for removing the unmanaged orchard is as follows:

  • Orchardists will volunteer their properties for tree removal;
  • The property will be assessed by a technical expert and evidence collected that demonstrates a declared pest was present at a level indicative of an unmanaged property and could pose a risk to neighbouring commercial properties. This pest could include but is not limited to fruit fly.

    The absence of a declared pest disqualifies the orchard/ vineyard from tree removal under this program;

  • Growers will provide evidence that the orchard business is unviable, which would be defined as without production from the orchard blocks for two consecutive fruit seasons;
  • Growers will be required to provide written consent to the tree removal, confirm their property is prepared for contractors and ensure all infrastructure such as wires and trellis will be removed prior to the entry of contractors;
  • Agriculture Victoria will assess each application for orchard removal. The application will include the signature of the person requesting removal and data around how many hectares etc;
  • Agriculture Victoria will review and provide final sign off prior to orchard removal.

Orchardists who can meet all of these requirements and are interested in applying should contact the GMV Regional Fruit Fly office by phoning (03) 5871 9222 or emailing gmvfruitfly@moira.vic.gov.au