Are Fruit Flies Back in Southern Australia?

By Hari Yellina
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Pic supplied

The existing outbreak limitations have been extended until 6 May 2022, following the discovery of Queensland fruit fly at a Renmark township residential property in the Renmark West and Pike River suspension regions. This is not a new epidemic, and the present fruit fly outbreak parameters remain the same. Premier Steven Marshall expressed alarm over the recent fruit fly discovery in the Riverland. “We thought we were out of it,” he remarked. “Obviously, we’ll be putting all of our efforts into getting this under control as soon as possible. In terms of exports, having that pest-free area status for SA is quite significant.

“At this point, it’s pretty little, but we need to make sure we get on it and wipe it out as soon as possible.” The PIRSA’s fruit fly response general manager, Nick Secomb, said the lone fruit fly detection was disheartening, but the eradication effort will continue to preserve the Riverland pest-free zone. Due to the warmer weather, fruit fly detections typically increase during the summer months. In December, PIRSA successfully eradicated Queensland fruit fly from Berri, Monash, and Cooltong, and the Riverland eradication campaign will now be expanded to include sterile fly releases to address this finding. Residents in the region will soon receive a brochure to notify of this latest detection and what they need do.

If you reside near the detection location, the fruit fly officers in orange overalls may come to your house to inspect your fruit for signs of fruit fly. Special arrangements for the movement of commercial produce will continue, and as we approach citrus season, citrus growers in the affected area will be impacted by the May 6 deadline. Citrus SA head Mark Doecke said the discovery of fruit fly was irritating and damaging the business as a whole. “We just have to plan as if it’s going to keep going,” he said. “We are trying to arrange funding for the council or PIRSA to replace unwanted fruit trees with native trees,” he said. “We have to keep calling on residents to be alert, and report and don’t have unattended trees dropping fruit on the ground. The moral stands, if you don’t want your tree, get rid of it.


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