Autumn hygiene

One reason for fruit flies being better able to survive the winter is that late fruiting plants are not managed after harvesting in both rural and urban situations. Left-over fruit plus benign weather conditions promote the survival of fruit flies. Fruit fly populations in the Goulburn Murray Valley are currently high so any fruit, even if it has fallen to the ground, will be targeted.

Stop the spread

The number of fruit fly trapped in the region will decline as autumn sets in. Fruit fly activity will proceed however, despite lower numbers being trapped. This is because temperatures will become too cold for trapping but will not be cold enough to stop mating, egg-laying and larval development – at least in the first half of autumn.

If autumn fruit flies can be managed successfully then numbers next season will also be down and will be more easily managed next spring.

Wide-spread benefit in removing fruit

There are extra benefits to removing late hanging and windfall fruit from the orchard and home garden. It is common practice to remove any damaged fruit from the orchard or to mulch it each day with a mulcher or flail mower so it breaks down or disintegrates quickly. The removal of damaged and unwanted fruit is essential as it reduces places that females can sting and minimises the possibility of new generations of fruit fly developing. This is a widely used practice in most stone fruit operations to reduce the occurrence of Carpophilus beetle and the incidence of brown rot.

Post harvest removal and destruction of fruit can also have benefits in relation to orchard disease management and control of other pests. Broadening your response to controlling fruit fly and addressing other pests and disease by mulching and bait spraying in orchards and host plants situated around your farm buildings, will help control fruit fly pests and disease on your farm for the coming season.

Extra caution

The below sites still have substantial fruit fly populations present and are of concern. It is important that orchards in these areas take precautions to reduce the ability of fruit fly to infest fruit and survive in them.

● Ardmona
● Echuca
● Euroa
● Invergordon
● Kyabram
● Merrigum
● Mooroopna
● Orrvale
● Rochester
● Shepparton
● Shepparton East
● Tatura
● Toolamba
● Undera