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Media Release - March 3, 2018
 
Latest fruit fly trap deliveries to Mildura, Robinvale, Barham
Mildura, Robinvavle, Barham
Fruit Fly traps and amulets will be delivered from the weekend of March 3-4

Fruit fly traps are being prepared for delivery to urban communities in the Mildura, Robinvale and Barham Districts

More assistance with fruit fly control in urban areas is being provided by the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area Industry Development Committee from this weekend to coincide with the season population peak.

Queensland Fruit Fly numbers are at their highest during late January and February and urban households will soon receive their third free trap package for this season.

Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area regional coordinator Deidre Jaensch said tropical weather systems in the leadup to Christmas had provided ideal conditions for fruit fly not only in Sunraysia but across the country.

“Late summer is also a time when we have more than one generation of flies, so we have both immature and adult flies as well as larvae and pupae,” Ms Jaensch said.

“Having an impact on fruit fly across our region really depends on having multiple strategies in place, across urban and rural areas.

“Even in urban back yards, there needs to be more than one control strategy for best effect on the different life stages.”

Ms Jaensch said the trap packages being delivered to households by volunteers contained two items.

“They have a yellow Bio trap which uses protein as a food source to help to control the immature and hungry female flies,” she said.

“It also contains an amulet that distracts the male fly, so they don’t mate with the female.”

Ms Jaensch said trap packages were not a silver bullet and they won’t stop fruit being stung if you have adult female with eggs migrating into your property.

“But they will help reduce the next generation of flies if everyone gets involved,” she said.

“A common misconception is that the traps have made the problem worse. This is most likely because people didn’t realise they had fruit fly until they put the traps up and started to catch flies. The traps can only attract flies from 10-15m away so it is not drawing them in from kilometres away, they are most likely already in your back yard.

“It only takes one back yard with fruit trees that are not properly managed to breed a population that will migrate into other backyards looking for food, a mate, and a place to lay their eggs.”

The aim of the urban trapping campaign is to establish a high density of traps within a defined area to create a blanket effect. 

“If people don’t hang up their traps, or they give their trap to a friend outside of town it creates holes in the blanket and means the overall effect won’t be as good.”

The traps have a shelf life of approximately three months, so Ms Jaensch said it was important for the traps to be hung up immediately after they were delivered.

“The longer they stay in the bag the less chance they have of killing flies,” she said.

“From of the number of flies caught in monitoring traps, we know we’re getting good reductions of numbers in areas that have been mass-trapped, compared with areas not trapped, so we’d encourage people to work with neighbours, family and friends to ensure we can have the maximum possible impact.”

Ms Jaensch said the mass trapping program was only one of a number of strategies in place across the GSPFA.

“We’ve had nearly 1000 trees removed as well, and we have much better community awareness about what is actually needed to control fruit fly – it all helps.”

Ms Jaensch said backyard gardeners wanting to harvest fruit needed to be aware of the size of the task in front of them.

“We’re hearing some good stories from people who’ve used nets and bags to protect fruit and stop the fruit fly being able to sting the fruit and lay their eggs,” she said.

Tips and information is available from the GSPFA website www.pestfreearea.com.au and on the GSPFA Facebook page.