If Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) populations follow typical trends, the number of fruit fly trapped and recorded in the Goulburn Murray Valley (GMV) will begin to level out in urban areas in coming weeks and rise rapidly in rural areas. This activity will mark the peak fruit fl y season for commercial orchards within the region for the 2019/20 harvest season. If the trend recorded over the past three years continues this season, March 2020 will see the start of the annual rise in QFF numbers in rural locations.
Queensland Fruit Fly hotspots
Potential fruit fly hotspots have been identified in the following urban areas:
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.
There are now two rural locations where QFF populations have built up relatively quickly near Cobram and Merrigum.
- Trapping data indicates that the GMV has passed this fruit fly season’s peak in urban-based fruit fly captures BUT captures of QFF are on the rise in rural locations of the GMV.
- Currently 22% of the GMV’s fruit fly population is located in urban sites (up
from 12% in January 2020).
- As daily temperatures start to get cooler, conditions become ideal for QFF to mate and lay eggs.
- Eggs laid during February will become a new generation of pest fruit flies in early autumn and attack autumn fruit and fruiting vegetable crops.
- Even if you have protected your orchards from fruit flies in the past these flies may spread from urban areas, through peri-urban sites and into orchards during this time.
Growers on the look-out
Commercial growers should be on the look-out for increased QFF activity by:
- Checking and monitoring traps.
- Checking ripe or ripening fruit for sting marks and/ or larval infestations.
- Cleaning up fallen and unwanted fruit.
- Letting your neighbours know if there is a QFF build-up.