Media Release - 27 July 2017
Fruit fly trapping program begins at Swan Hill.
GSPFA regional coordinator Deidre Jaensch and project officer Sam Testa receiving the traps with Rotary Mildura Deakin secretary Gary Klippel, whose organisation is among more than 30 groups distributing traps as a fundraiser.
Photographer Luke Gange
Swan Hill district residents are being urged to play their part in the season’s critical first-strike against fruit fly, as delivery of traps is completed across the town.
The fruit fly trapping campaign aims to continue growing the community-wide effort to stop fruit fly and protect valuable industries, jobs and the economy of the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area (GSPFA).
Delivery will be made this weekend of one fruit fly trap per household in the first phase of the campaign.
GSPFA Regional Coordinator Deidre Jaensch said, as in previous years, the program aimed to get the community on-board to help stop fruit fly and protect valuable horticultural industries.
“Now is when the female flies are emerging from their winter dormancy, they’re hungry and really interested in feeding and growing,” Ms Jaensch said.
“That means they’re very attracted to the protein-based baits and it gives us a great opportunity to trap the females before they’re mature enough to lay any eggs.”
Ms Jaensch emphasised that the full support of the community was needed to have the best result in keeping numbers down early in the season.
“This type of trap really only works on flies within about a 15-metre radius, so around the range of a single back yard,” she said.
“They ’re a great tool to eliminate the local population, but they don’t attract flies from large distances away, so any flies they do catch were probably already in the yard to begin with.
“The limited range also means we need as many people as possible to get the traps up and operating as soon as they’re delivered – to maximise our effectiveness, we need to have active traps in as many yards as possible.”
Over 6000 traps will be delivered to households in urban areas around Swan Hill, Lake Boga, Tresco, Tooleybuc, Wood Wood, Woorinen South, Nyah and Piangil, as well as Barham, Koondrook and Murrabit. The traps are distributed by volunteers as fundraisers for local community organisations and charities. The local deliveries are in addition to 19,000 being made around Mildura and 1500 at Barham, as well as 1250 made to residents in the Robinvale and Boundary Bend townships last weekend.
“It really is a community-minded, co-operative effort between community groups, residents, backyard green thumbs and commercial growers,” Ms Jaensch said.
“These traps are an extremely effective control measure when we all work together, but they’re not a silver bullet and there are other things we’d also like people to be thinking about,” she said.
“Other actions that will help us have a stronger impact include removing fruit trees that are no longer used, or at least cutting them back to a more manageable size, as well as always cleaning up fallen fruit from underneath trees.
“Our research is telling us that, as a community, we are having an effect on fruit fly numbers and we can get on top of this problem that has such a big impact on the health and profitability of our horticultural sector.
“Everyone who does their bit is playing a big part in helping to protect all of the jobs and economic activity that flows through the community from a healthy and thriving horticultural sector.”
For further information or interviews contact:
GSPFA Regional Coordinator
Deidre Jaensch 0429 007 200
Remember, almost every type of fruit and fruiting vegetable is a potential host for fruit fly.
Don’t bring fruit or vegetables into the Pest Free Area
Advise visiting friends and relatives not to bring fruit or vegetables with them