March overview

  • Currently 78% of the Goulburn Murray Valley’s (GMV) fruit fly population is located in urban sites (down from 88% in January 2020).
  • As daily temperatures drop, conditions become ideal for Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) to mate and lay eggs.
  • Eggs laid during February will become a new generation of pest fruit flies in early March and attack autumn fruit and fruiting vegetable crops.
  • New generations may spread from urban areas, through peri-urban sites and into commercial crops.
  • Action now will cut the next fruit fly generation and increase future home garden productivity.

Removal and the correct disposal of unwanted fruit; removal of unwanted trees; the use of fruit fly baits, netting and traps; together with monitoring ripening fruit for sting marks in home gardens, untended areas, council and Crown land, roadsides, riverbanks and business sites are necessary actions.

Potential hotspots

Potential fruit fly hotspots have been identified in the following urban areas:

Barooga Euroa Shepparton
Cobram Kyabram Violet Town
Echuca Merrigum Yarrawonga

These sites are of moderate concern for potential hotspot status and community members with gardens and orchards in these areas should take precautions to reduce the ability of QFF to infest fruit and survive the autumn period.

Autumn outlook

If QFF populations follow typical trends, numbers trapped in urban locations across the GMV will remain relatively unchanged in early March and decline slightly in April, before a major drop is experienced in May. It is at this time that it appears QFF migrate from urban areas to commercial orchards.

Action required

Home gardeners and community members should be on the look-out for increased QFF activity. Simple tasks to undertake to help reduce the spread include:

  1. Regularly check monitoring traps.
  2. Check ripe or ripening fruit for sting marks and/or larval infestations.
  3. Pick up fallen and unwanted fruit, place it in sealed garbage bags and leave it in the sun for a week. You may then safely dispose of it in the garbage or bury it.
  4. Apply netting to high risk trees and plants.
  5. Consider free removal of your unwanted fruit trees. Apply at your local council.
  6. Let your neighbours know if you experience a QFF build-up.