Summer conditions ideal for Queensland fruit fly

La Niña and the summer rain associated with the weather event has provided ideal conditions for Queensland fruit fly numbers to expand, resulting in increased fruit fly pressure throughout the region.

A La Niña event results in more rainfall along with increased soil moisture and humidity which increase micro bacterial growth, creating another protein food source for the female fruit fly. These conditions make it easier for Queensland fruit fly survival and breeding, which increases the likelihood of rapid population expansions.

All areas of the Goulburn Murray Valley should be on high alert for fruit fly activity and take action to minimise the impact of the pest.

Extra vigilance required in hot spot areas

The regional trapping grid has identified fruit fly pressure across the region and provides essential population tracking data.

Current urban Queensland fruit fly hot spots include:

  • Shepparton • Mooroopna
  • Kyabram • Merrigum
  • Nagambie • Avenel
  • Numurkah • Yarrawonga
  • Cobram • Barooga

Picker shortage and fruit left on trees fuels spikes

A severe shortage of pickers as a result of covid restrictions and the inability of pickers to enter Victoria has forced some growers to leave fruit on their trees, creating the perfect environment for fruit fly to thrive. Growers should remain on high alert across the Goulburn Murray Valley region as unpicked fruit, combined with the effects of optimal weather conditions for rapid fruit fly expansion, has the potential to severely impact market opportunities .

Monitor and prepare to reduce the spread

Growers should remove all unwanted fruiting material and continue monitoring activities regardless of their location. It is advisable to ensure trap, bait and approved pesticide supplies are well stocked in readiness for fruit fly identification. It is essential to make sure any pesticides in storage are within their use-by dates and are still approved for use in your state and on your fruit type.