QUEENSLAND FRUIT FLY GROWER UPDATE
Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) is not generally a problem to commercial orchardists in late winter, spring and early summer. This is because most of their fruit does not ripen until late summer and autumn. However, smaller quantities of mixed fruiting crops are planted in house yards of commercial horticultural properties and these can assist in producing localised populations of Qfly that continue in small numbers and expand significantly when main crops in orchards ripen.
Fruit fly traps are an ideal way of determining whether or not Qfly is present in your orchard or near the house and outbuildings. It is recommended traps are deployed all year round. Traps should be moved out of deciduous orchards in winter to warmer areas and areas with evergreen plants as this is where Qfly seek refuge over winter. Female-biased traps should be placed in evergreen plants (e.g. lemon tree) that are situated near the house, packing shed or other relatively warm positions.
Fruit fly baits are the best method for controlling fruit flies before their populations get too big to handle through baiting alone. Bait applications should commence as per label directions once Qfly are detected in traps, particularly in the case infested fruit is found in or near your crop.
Other measures critical to the control of fruit fly include:
• Remove and use or destroy nearby fruit left on trees during winter – in the orchard, house yard and front yard
If you see fruit trees on Crown land, creek banks, abandoned premises or roadsides let your Council or the Regional Fruit Fly Office know
Remove fruiting plants you no longer need
Use fruit fly traps to assess if and when Qfly are present
Check any fruit that is present near your orchard for signs of Qfly – sting marks on the fruit surface, softening patches in the fruit flesh, eggs and or larvae in fruit Ensure you have access to baits and approved pesticides for Qfly control if trap numbers get too high
The region’s August weather outlook indicates Qfly that survive winter will be able to emerge from their winter refuges in greater numbers than normal. Forecasts predict a 70-75% chance of above average rainfall, a 50-60% chance of higher than average maximum temperatures and a 75-80% chance of above average minimum temperatures.