Shepparton News

QUEENSLAND FRUIT FLY COMMUNITY UPDATE

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Fruit fly activity

A peak in the number of Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) trapped and recorded in August and September reflects the number of flies that successful­ly survived winter by sheltering in warm refuges. Now active, these flies are ready to mate and start laying eggs into fruit. Ripe or ripening fruit is at risk of being infested and extra care should be taken to monitor and inspect fruit growing in home gardens. Spring infestatio­ns will be the first 2021/22 generation of Qfly to attack urban and rural fruiting plants in December through to the middle of May.

Stop the spread

Trapping data taken over a number of years has identified, it is very likely that urban fruit fly spread from built up urban areas, through peri-urban locations and into rural commercial orchards. Effective control of fruit fly by home gardeners in built up urban areas will protect crops in both urban and rural locations.

Urban control methods for use in home gardens and built-up areas include:

• Use of traps to monitor for Qfly

• Checking fruit for signs of infestatio­n: o Presence of sting marks o Presence of eggs or larvae o Check fruiting plants, including fruiting weed plants, in back and front yards, nearby paddocks, roadsides, untended land and creek banks.

• Use of fruit fly control baits

• Use of netting

• Remove fruit before it ripens

Fruit fly hot spots

The Goulburn Murray Valley regional trapping grid was establishe­d to monitor fruit fly activity across the region. Despite the August/ September spike there is more variance between high and low numbers in regional traps this year compared to previous years. Extra vigilance and monitoring is required in the flowing locations:

• Mooroopna • Numurkah

• Kyabram • Merrigum

• Tatura • Rochester

• Violet Town

The impact of weather

The Bureau of Meteorolog­y forecasts that October 2021 will be a warmer and wetter month than average. These weather conditions favour the fruiting of Qfly host fruit such as loquats and apricots, the spread of Qfly food such as bacteria, fungi and yeasts, as well as encouragin­g the growth of Qfly eggs, larva and pupae and the lengthenin­g and the Qfly lifespan and cycle.

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