ND QUEENSLA FRUIT FLY Y COMMUNIT UPDATE
What does infested f ruit look like?
Queensland Fruit Flies (QFF) often leave marks on f ruit at the point of egg-laying, known as sting marks. Not all f ruits show obvious marks, sometimes sting marks, the points where females puncture f ruit and lay eggs, show up as a black or brown skin wound. This occurs in most varieties of nectarine, loquat and apple. The apple sting mark often exudes juice.
This marking is a wound response by f ruit as well as the result of bacteria the fly injects with her eggs that break down the flesh so that newly hatched eggs have food to eat.
All f ruit, even thicker skinned oranges rot away underneath the egg laying site and are left soft in these spots. In some f ruit there is no obvious sting mark evident, such as blueberries and cherries. As eggs hatch the f ruit rapidly breaks down however sometimes the skin stays pretty much intact but collapses as soon as you touch it.
When you see large holes — about 2 mm wide — you are too late. These are exit holes. Eggs were laid into this f ruit about 7–12 days prior and hatch into maggots which mature and leave the f ruit. After this time, the f ruit is virtually empty of f ruit fly — they are now present as pupae in the soil or leaf litter under the tree.
Weather outlook for September
The weather outlook for September forecasts less rainfall and higher temperatures than usual.
What does this mean for fruit fly?
If maximum temperatures exceed the average September temperature of 15˚C to 18˚C, there is a high likelihood that overwintering adult flies (flies that survive winter) will find each other, mate and lay eggs.
Tree removal program
Take advantage of the f ree Urban Fruit Tree Removal Program and have a qualified arborist remove your unwanted f ruit tree.
Action to take now
• Put QFF monitoring traps out
• Check traps at least once a week
• Check for the presence of young and ripening fruit
•Check fruit for sting marks and/ or associated rot development
•If QFF are present net fruit and/ or bait crops with fruit fly baits
•Pick and destroy all infested fruit properly
These steps are the best strategy to reduce the impact of overwintering QFF on this season’s crops in your backyard and orchard.
For assistance managing QFF, contact (03) 5871 9222 or email@example.com.