Help con­trol med­fly with back­yard tree traps

Midwest Times - - FRONT PAGE - DPIRD tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer Keelin Smith with one of the back­yard traps avail­able free to Carnar­von res­i­dents to as­sist the med­fly con­trol pro­gram.

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@

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.

Pic­ture: DPIRD

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.

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