Queensland fruit fly can have devastating impact on fruits and vegetables

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Updated April 14 2021 - 11:15pm, first published November 30 2020 - 4:30pm
BUZZING ABOUT: Queensland fruit fly. Picture: Supplied
BUZZING ABOUT: Queensland fruit fly. Picture: Supplied

Gardeners and landholders have been reminded to look out for and manage Queensland fruit fly in the midst of their most active time of year.

Agriculture Victoria statewide fruit fly coordinator Cathy Mansfield said the flies are usually most active from September to May.

"As the weather heats up, now is a good time to look in your garden or property to see if they are present," Ms Mansfield said.

"This year, more people have been paying attention to their garden or ramping up their gardening and they may not be aware that we have fruit fly in Victoria."

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Fruit flies attack a wide range of fruit and vegetables including tomatoes, stone fruit, citrus, cherries, berries and grapes.

"Fruit fly maggots are often found in the centre of fruit," Ms Mansfield said.

"The maggots are five to 10 millimetres long and creamy-white in colour."

"Infested fruit must be disposed of property, such as putting them in the sun for at least seven days in a sealed plastic bag to destroy eggs and maggots."

With a wet and warm spring, the conditions have been favourable for fruit flies to breed, making treatment crucial this season.

For the greatest chance of successful control, Agriculture Victoria advises using the following techniques:

  • Follow good garden hygiene such as picking fruit and vegetables as they ripen
  • Dispose of unwanted fruit and scraps carefully
  • Regularly monitor for fruit fly presence in your garden
  • Protect trees, plants and produce through netting, gazebos and bags
  • Use bait, traps and insecticide control

For more information including lists of common fruit, how to control fruit fly in your garden and tips for netting trees, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/qff

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Nicholas Nakos

Journalist

Politics reporter at the Bendigo Advertiser

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