Help control medfly with backyard tree traps
Carnarvon residents are encouraged to support local growers’ endeavours to control Mediterranean fruit fly by hanging traps on their backyard trees.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is giving away medfly traps to help protect the region’s $80 million horticultural industry.
Department research officer Oonagh Byrne said the backyard traps would boost efforts to minimise the impact of medfly in residential areas and nearby plantations, complementing yearround control programs.
“The department is working with the Carnarvon Growers Association Recognised Biosecurity Group to control medfly using a combination of area-wide foliar
baiting, trapping, regulatory compliance measures and community engagement,” Dr Byrne said.
“Sterile medflies have also been released by the millions in the region over the past 12 months but to successfully eradicate the pest, all fruit trees — commercial and backyard — must be included in the program.
“It is also important for all residents to pick and dispose of unwanted fruit from their trees and collect fallen fruit to help break the medfly lifecycle and aid the success of the control program.”
Medfly costs WA’s horticulture industry $10.2 million a year in lost production and control measures.
The pest attacks a wide range of fruit trees including citrus, mangoes, fig, avocado, pawpaw and stone fruit, as well as some vegetable crops, such as chillies.
The free medfly trap includes a biolure, which attracts medfly into the trap and onto a small strip containing pesticide.
An environmentally friendly, pesticide-free solution, which has a food-based fruit fly attractant that provides excellent control, is also available on request.
The traps last for three months and are most effective when installed on fruit trees before the fruit has grown to its final size.
Commercial and backyard fruit tree owners may order a free trap, baiting solution or replacement lure from Carnarvon Growers Association Recognised Biosecurity Group executive officer Ian Foxley on 0418 353 171 or rbg@ cga.org.au.
Regional people are being urged to participate in this year’s Biosecurity Blitz to help protect the State’s flourishing food export industry.
The blitz runs from October 19 to November 16, and encourages people to report pests, diseases and weeds to help protect the State’s agricultural industry.
People are asked download the MyPestGuide Reporter or PestFax app on their phone, which allows them to take photos of pests and weeds, and upload it to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development database.
DPIRD development officer Laura Fagan said regional people were vital when it came to the blitz.
“It is difficult for them to be proactive because of the vast area they have to cover,” she said.
The surveillance during the blitz would help stop overseas pests from affecting horticulture, agriculture and fisheries, she said.
“There are three different reporting tools and all those reports that people send to us through those applications, those efforts help to free us from pests and diseases,” she said. “It underpins our important trade markets overseas.
“It basically improves our economy and livelihoods of those who are connected to those industries.”
Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan told Parliament recently the blitz was critical to protecting the export sector from pests, diseases and weeds.
“The public really got on board with last year’s campaign, which recorded 854 reports and resulted in the detection of new locations for citrus gall wasp,” she said.
“Early detection is essential for an effective biosecurity response, as has been demonstrated by the State’s response to several exotic pests over the past 18 months, namely the Queensland fruit fly, the tomato potato psyllid, citrus canker and the brown marmorated stink bug.
“We want to see community groups, schools and families get involved in this year’s Biosecurity Blitz.”
There are school challenges and other activities which regional groups can get involved in through the DPIRD website.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development officer Rick Bryant and his twin sons Otis and Henry, both 7, go on the hunt for interesting insects, pests and weeds as part of Biosecurity Blitz.