A community effort is required to stop the spread of Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF), with gardeners reminded now is the time to apply control measures in their home garden.
Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly co-ordinator Ross Abberfield said vigilance was necessary by those in the community with fruit trees or host plants in their garden.
Weather conditions in recent weeks have been ideal for fruit flies to mature and mate, resulting in the possibility of a fruit fly spike if control measures are not activated and applied diligently.
‘‘While fruit fly typically lay dormant over winter and may be nearing the end of their life cycle, it is important for the community to realise that it is likely they have mated and laid eggs, providing the opportunity for the emergence of a new life cycle,’’ Mr Abberfield said.
‘‘We are asking the community to assist in reducing the spread of QFF by taking action in their home garden now, despite not being able to see evidence of fruit fly.’’
More than 300 fruit fly traps have been distributed across the Goulburn Murray Valley targeting male fruit fly as part of a regional approach to fruit fly management.
These traps do not attract female QFF but are used to detect the presence of fruit fly and gauge changes in populations over time.
Traps are checked weekly and have been positioned across 15 towns in the region.
‘‘Traps have been deployed in rural and urban areas and will remain in place until March to allow for the identification and analyses of changes in fruit fly numbers,’’ Mr Abberfield said.
It is recommended that householders use both male-targeting and female-targeting fruit fly traps as a monitoring and control tool in their home garden. Traps can be purchased at hardware, nursery and online suppliers, or can be made in the home.
Householders and gardeners should also use insecticide or bait spray where it is considered appropriate. Other important control measures include the use of netting and ensuring good garden hygiene through early harvesting and destroying rotting or unwanted fruit.
Several councils in the Goulburn Murray Valley region have local laws that require the owner and occupier of land in a residential area to manage their fruit trees in a manner that will assist in the prevention of fruit fly infestation.
●For more information about the simple steps you can take to reduce the spread of fruit fly, go to www.gmv-qldfruitfly.com.au