Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) trapping rates across the Goulburn Murray Valley (GMV) have started their seasonal upward trend. This increase marks the beginning of the new QFF season, which typically occurs in spring when morning temperatures reach between 13-15 ̊C. It is these flies that were able to find suitable refuge and survive winter that will be the cause of the coming season’s fruit fly problems, if not kept in check.
Fruit to look out for
Home gardeners should be on the look out for early ripening fruit such as loquats and mulberries, or late-hanging fruit such as navel oranges and persimmons. These fruit will be targeted by fruit flies during the spring peak and should be removed from trees.
Essential garden tasks
It is essential that home gardeners monitor for fruit flies in October through trapping and fruit examination. Should fruit fl y be identified, let your neighbours know, so they too can be on the look out and take necessary action.
No one action will control fruit fly, a combination of measures must be used to effectively control and prevent the spread of the pest.
Control and prevention measures include:
- bait sprays – to attract and kill fruit flies
- netting – stops QFF from reaching fruit through netting, bags or sleeves
- pruning trees to a manageable height
- pick ripened fruit
- check ripening fruit and vegetables skin for sting marks
- pick up and correctly dispose of fallen fruit
- removal of unwanted host plants and trees
Help stop the spread
Control activities undertaken in urban locations by home gardeners will assist our growers in their production. If QFF in built up urban and peri-urban locations are controlled then their spread to rural locations will be reduced. The efforts of home gardeners to control fruit fly in spring 2020 will be of immense use to commercial growers and the entire community in the upcoming season throughout December and January, and into autumn.