The general trend in Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) numbers is now on the rise and will continue through February. During last year’s fruit fly season there was a drop in the normal rise in QFF numbers from December 2018 to February 2019, which when compared with data from the previous seven years suggests a combination of area wide management and periodic weather conditions that impacted adversely on QFF survival has been successful in reducing numbers. A similar pattern is occurring this season.
The situation for February
- At present 88 per cent of the Goulburn Murray Valley’s QFF population is located in urban sites.
- Weather conditions are suitable for QFF to mate and lay eggs although hot, dry weather, in some areas, will reduce the amount of fruit available for fruit fly to sting. The heat will kill eggs and larvae in fruit that is exposed to the sun.
- If eggs laid during January survive the heat and lack of moisture, they will go on to become a new generation of pest fruit flies in late Summer and Autumn which will attack Autumn crops of fruit and fruiting vegetables. Ripe or ripening fruit under irrigation are particularly susceptible.
- Flies have the potential to spread from urban areas, through peri-urban sites and into commercial crops.
- Action now will reduce the next generation and increase future home garden productivity.
Steps to stop the spread
- Fruit and tree removal and destruction
- Use of fruit fly baits and netting
- Monitoring ripening fruit for sting marks
- Use of traps in home gardens, untended areas, Council and Crown land, roadsides, riverbanks and business sites.
Bait sprays are generally available through your local agricultural supplier, nurseries and some hardware stores. Several products are available, including a natural bait spray mixture, which contains a bacterium, instead of a chemical insecticide.
Potential fruit fly hot spots
Potential fruit fly hot spots are currently located in the following urban areas:
The above mentioned sites are of concern for potential hot spot status, so it is important that members of the community who have gardens and orchards in these areas take precautions to reduce the ability of QFF to infest fruit.