Yarrawonga Chronicle



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.

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