Current Queensland Fruit Fly situation

Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) trapping rates in rural areas for April 2020 (0.6QFF/trap) were down from April 2018 (5.9 QFF/trap) and April 2019 (1.1 QFF/trap). However despite this drop, rates were higher during February and early March 2020 as there was good weather for fruit set and associated fruit fly proliferation compared to the corresponding period of 2019 when the weather was exceptionally hot with record low rainfall.

Fruit fly hotspots

While QFF numbers are low across the Goulburn Murray Valley (GMV)region, the following hotspot locations are registering high QFF populations and require a concerted effort from landholders in order to achieve a reduction in numbers:

  • Koonoomoo
  • Cobram
  • Merrigum

Action now will help these communities in minimising the QFF pressure next spring.

Fruit fly overview

If your property is within 500 m of urban or peri-urban QFF host plants, unmanaged orchards or feral hosts along roads or channels you should inspect your fruit regularly and monitor your traps closely.

Ripe fruit that is still on the plant or ground are still able to be infested by QFF in most areas of the GMV as sunset temperatures are still higher than the lower limit of mating and egg-laying for QFF. Unwanted fruit on the ground needs to be kept free of QFF, preferably by mulching.

Growers are advised to maintain (or, if not done yet, purchase and place out)their male- and female-targeting fruitfly traps and manually check ripening fruit in their house yards, orchards or nearby for fruit fl y infestations. Growers should also ensure they have timely access to approved fruit fly baits and pesticides should trap numbers and/or fruit infestations increase in severity. Many commercial growers are still harvesting fruit at this time of year.These fruit are especially vulnerable to being struck by fruit fl y. Growers should make sure their QFF management program is set up and check traps for QFF and fruit for sting marks and larval infestations regularly (once a week). Have a baiting or pesticide program ready to implement if you find evidence of QFF in your crops, house gardens or nearby feral fruiting plants.

Tree removal program

The free tree removal program is open to private and public landholders who cannot manage their fruit trees effectively or growers who have nonproductive orchards they are unable to manage. For more information about the application process, contact your participating council.