Wimmera and Mallee residents are encouraged to look out for Queensland fruit fly this spring.
The pest was found in Warracknabeal earlier this year and is present in other towns in the region such as Wycheproof and Charlton.
Agriculture Victoria Fruit Fly Action Plan Senior Project Officer Jane Ryan said Queensland fruit fly was a serious horticultural pest that can destroy home gardens and commercial horticultural production if not managed.
“Fruit flies are usually active from September to May, so now is the time to keep a look out at in your garden or on your farm to see if they are present,” Ms Ryan said.
“Fruit flies can spread quickly, so community involvement is essential to monitor and control it.
“One way fruit flies can spread is through movement of fruit and vegetables, so it’s important not to travel with home grown fruit.”
Ms Ryan advised all Victorians not to accept accept home grown fruit and vegetables from friends or family travelling from infested areas.
“Infested fruit must be disposed of properly, such as putting them in the sun in a sealed plastic bag to destroy eggs and maggots – do not put them in compost,” she said.
“Male monitoring traps can identify whether Queensland fruit fly is in the area, and let you know whether it’s time to ramp up your management.”
For the greatest chance of successful control, speak to your neighbours for a consistent approach and use the following techniques in your garden:
- following good garden hygiene such as picking fruit and vegetables as they ripen
- disposing of unwanted fruit and scraps carefully
- regularly monitoring for presence in your garden
- protecting trees, plants and produce through netting, gazebos and bags
- baiting and trapping
- using insecticide control.
“If you have fruit trees in your garden but don’t manage them, it’s best to remove them so they don’t become a haven for fruit fly and grow a population in your area,” Ms Ryan said.