Act now to stop fruit fly

June 14, 2018

The cool weather is helping the fight against Queensland fruit fly in the region.

The cool weather is helping the fight against Queensland fruit fly in the region.

Goulburn Murray Valley regional fruit fly co-ordinator Ross Abberfield said the current cold snap had impacted numbers.

Existing fruit fly populations are now either searching for food or looking for refuge, rather than breeding.

‘‘Most immature fruit flies will die during winter due to the significant drop in temperature and many adult flies will die in the coming months. However, there will be some adults that will survive the winter, which is called overwintering,’’ Mr Abberfield said.

‘‘These flies are typically newly-bred flies from late-ripening fruit that have found themselves in localised warm spots, allowing for their survival over winter.’’

It is the overwintering fruit fly population which will be the cause of next season’s problems.

Fruit fly numbers identified through the regional trapping program have dropped because of the cooler weather, however there are spots in urban areas which remain suitable for winter survival, so awareness and monitoring remains critical.

Protein-based traps and baits are still effective and should be used as they allow for detection of overwintering fruit flies.

Traps should be placed in the morning sun, high in the canopy of evergreen trees in the warmest position in the yard.

‘‘Lemon trees are particularly favoured by QFF to overwinter in and should be carefully monitored,’’ Mr Abberfield said.

Home gardeners and orchardists should apply fruit fly baits to control flies and help stop flies surviving the winter and building damaging populations in spring.

Eggs, larvae and pupae are unlikely to survive winter, but it is still advisable to pick up fallen fruit and harvest late fruit.

Fallen fruit should not be thrown on to the compost heap as fruit flies can survive there. It is best to cook, freeze, mulch or solarise the fruit.

Winter is the ideal time to remove unwanted fruit trees from gardens and properties.

The free urban fruit tree removal program is available in some councils and has been successful in eliminating potential breeding grounds.

●For information about the program, control and prevention, pick up an information pack from your local council’s customer service centre or visit

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