QUEENSLAND FRUIT FLY UPDATE
Queensland Fruit Fly in July
Winter has hit the Goulburn Murray Valley (GMV) and male Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) numbers in traps are down to low levels. Winter trapping with protein-based traps should be placed in a spot that catches the morning sun, high in the canopy of evergreen trees or the warmest position in the yard. Lemon trees are particularly favoured by QFF to overwinter in. It is still advisable to pick up fallen fruit and harvest late-hanging fruit just in case they are situated in a position warm enough for QFF survival. Such orchard hygiene is useful for other reasons, too, such as reduction in fungal pathogen load in the garden.
What can you do now, in July 2018, to reduce fruit fly buildup next spring?
From now on, have a close look at what plants might have fruit on them in early spring and, if you can, pull them out or at least pull their fruit off. This includes fruiting weeds, hedge plants, fruit trees with late-hanging fruit (e.g. navel oranges). If there are roadside or creek-bank rogue plants such as apricots and loquats, please let Council know about them and ask that these plants be removed. You can also apply through your Council to have unwanted fruit trees in your backyard removed free of charge, before they fruit next season.
It’s a community effort
It is likely that improved fruit fly management programs set up around the GMV since mid-2017, such as community awareness workshops and programs, QFF host plant removal, greater use of traps, baits and netting and the destruction of unwanted fruit may impact QFF numbers coming into next season. If these activities have impacted the QFF problem we hope to see reduced QFF numbers next season. Check our website for workshops and activities in your area during our “No Flies On Us Week” commencing 27 August 2018.
For assistance managing QFF, contact the GMV Fruit Fly Coordinator, Ross Abberfield by phoning (03) 5871 9222 or emailing email@example.com