Media Release - October 5, 2018
Fruit fly detected in loquats
Queensland Fruit Fly larvae were found by field officers in loquat fruit on a commercial vineyard in Cardross.
The discovery is a warning to both commercial growers and home gardeners that flies which have survived over winter have now mated and laid eggs.
The Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area’s Regional Coordinator Deidre Jaensch said loquats were generally the early indicator for fruit fly activity.
“Loquats are the first fruit to ripen in the season,” Ms Jaensch said.
“But any fruit that is ripe now is susceptible including navel oranges, mandarins, lemons and grapefruit,” she said.
“It is imperative that everyone checks their fruit every week for larvae by cutting fruit open, because it’s not always easy to see if a fruit has been infested from the outside.”
Ms Jaensch said fruit should also be picked as it ripens because the longer it was left on the tree the greater the chance for flies to lay their eggs.
“If you find infested fruit, all the fruit on the tree must be strip-picked immediately and the fruit sealed in a plastic bag or screw-top drum and left in the sun until the larvae are killed,” she said.
“If these larvae are not killed now they’re the ones that will grow into adults and infest stone fruit before Christmas time – if you don’t put control measures in place now, you can’t complain when you’re faced with infested fruit at Christmas time.”
Ms Jaensch said it was frustrating that it was taking so long for people to get the message and take action.
“If you want to grow fruit and vegetables in Sunraysia you have to manage for fruit fly and these measures need to be in place now and continue during the fruiting season. The flies aren’t waiting for everyone to decide to get on board.”
More information about the tree removal program is available from the GSPFA Facebook page (@greatersunraysiapestfreearea) or the website: www.pestfreearea.com.au or at the GSPFA office (03) 5022 0327.
Managing Queensland Fruit Fly
A combination of different methods and coordinating efforts with neighbours provides the greatest chance of successful control.
Baiting and trapping:
Bait sprays and Traps intend to kill QFF before they attack fruit and can be purchased from hardware stores, nurseries and online. Look for traps that will kill female flies as well as males. Bait sprays and Traps are helpful in reducing the overall population. However, they will not stop a pregnant female from attacking the fruit. For this you need a physical barrier like an insect net or paper bag.
Nets or paper bags:
Place insect nets, sleeves over trees and plants of bag individual fruit to prevent QFF reaching the fruit. These are available from your local nursery or hardware retailer. This is the best option for back yards and may mean you need to reduce the size of your tree and crop for this to work. You can reduce the size of your tree at any time of year and it may mean you won’t get as much fruit but the fruit you do get you will be able to enjoy.
Good garden hygiene:
Pick fruit and vegetables as they ripen. Unwanted produce and produce that has fallen must be placed in a sealed plastic bag and left in the sun to destroy QFF larvae. Do not add unwanted fruit to your compost or worm farm or place directly into your rubbish bin.