Spring into ac­tion on fruit flies

Euroa Gazette - - CLASSIFIEDS -

STRATH­BO­GIE Shire home gar­den­ers with fruit trees are be­ing urged to spring into ac­tion and do their bit to re­duce the spread of Queens­land Fruit Fly (QFF).

QFF be­comes ac­tive in spring af­ter be­ing rel­a­tively dor­mant dur­ing the colder weather, with home gar­den­ers re­minded that now is the time to take ac­tion.

Goul­burn Mur­ray Val­ley re­gional fruit fly co­or­di­na­tor Ross Ab­ber­field said it was im­por­tant that any­one with a fruit tree grow­ing in their gar­den or on their prop­erty was aware of the nec­es­sary pre­ven­ta­tive steps and the crit­i­cal role th­ese steps play in re­duc­ing the spread of QFF.

“It is es­sen­tial that peo­ple take a range of mea­sures such as set­ting traps and us­ing net­ting to pro­vide a phys­i­cal bar­rier to stop fe­male QFF from reach­ing fruit and lay­ing its eggs,” he said.

“In ad­di­tion to this, other key pre­ven­ta­tive ac­tions in­clude bait­ing or spray­ing if ap­pro­pri­ate.

“Gar­den­ers and prop­erty own­ers need to un­der­stand the im­por­tance of good gar­den hy­giene, which means pick­ing fruit as it ripens rather than let­ting it sit and rot, and de­stroy­ing rot­ten or un­wanted fruit.”

Un­wanted host fruit can be de­stroyed by plac­ing it in the freezer or mi­crowave to kill mag­gots.

Fruit can also be de­stroyed by plac­ing it in a sealed plas­tic bag and leav­ing it in the sun for 5-7 days be­fore throw­ing it out.

Other key man­age­ment ac­tions in­clude the re­moval of un­wanted fruit trees, early har­vest of fruit and un­der­tak­ing prun­ing to al­low fruit to be eas­ily picked and the easy ap­pli­ca­tion of net­ting, sprays or baits.

Prop­erty own­ers with un­wanted fruit trees in res­i­den­tial yards have un­til the end of Oc­to­ber to ap­ply to have them re­moved at no cost through the Ur­ban Fruit True Re­moval Pro­gram, which has been ex­tended for an ad­di­tional month due to high de­mand.

The pro­gram, is an ini­tia­tive of the Goul­burn Mur­ray Val­ley Re­gional Fruit Fly Ac­tion Group and is avail­able in Cam­paspe, Greater Shep­par­ton, Moira and Strath­bo­gie shires.

“QFF is a se­ri­ous risk to the re­gion’s multi-bil­lion dol­lar hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try, back­yard or­chards and veg­etable gar­dens, with an in­te­grated ap­proach im­per­a­tive in pro­tect­ing the re­gion,” he said.

“QFF pop­u­la­tions typ­i­cally in­crease in the warmer weather so now is the time to be most ef­fec­tive in manag­ing ris­ing num­bers.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about the man­age­ment of QFF or the pro­gram con­tact the cus­tomer ser­vice cen­tres of par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­cils.

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GET THE NETS: Goul­burn Mur­ray Val­ley re­gional fruit fly co­or­di­na­tor Ross Ab­ber­field re­minds home gar­den­ers now is the time to take ac­tion with the use of nets and cov­ers one of a num­ber mea­sures es­sen­tial in com­bat­ing the spread of QFF.

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