A message from the Mayor - Queensland Fruit Fly update

Published on 16 May 2016

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Horticulture is one of the most important industries in our region, contributing more than $500 million to the Mildura economy. One of the biggest threats to the industry is Queensland Fruit Fly, so it is important everyone does their bit to help stop it.

The constant outbreaks of fruit fly in the area are very concerning and many of these incidents have occurred in backyard gardens. Queensland fruit fly attacks a wide range of fruits and fruiting vegetables, leaving them inedible. While this is obviously frustrating and disappointing for home gardeners, it is even more concerning for horticulturalists whose livelihoods fruit fly threatens.

Over the past few years we have been supporting the Sunraysia Pest Free Area, grower groups and Agriculture Victoria helping spread the message about the importance of managing Queensland fruit fly in the home garden.

However, the message is just not getting through to some homeowners and with a relatively mild winter predicted, it could be an absolutely devastating season for our horticultural industry if we all don’t do our bit.

If you can’t properly maintain fruit trees in your garden, if you’re not taking responsibility for any fallen fruit and disposing of it appropriately, then why not pull the trees out and get rid of them completely?  

If you want to persevere with your trees, then get educated and know the strategies you can use in your home garden to control fruit fly.

Most people discover fruit fly when they cut open their fruit and find it infested with creamy-white maggots (5 - 10 millimetres long) burrowing inside. But other indicators of fruit fly activity include small puncture marks (or stings) on fruit skins from where the female fruit fly has laid her eggs and prematurely ripened fruits.

There are a number of options for managing and treating a fruit fly outbreak if it occurs in your back yard. These include exclusion with nets, bags or sleeves, removing host plants, cover spraying, trapping and baiting.

I urge all residents of the Sunraysia region to be vigilant with their backyard fruit and vegetable crops and to make a concerted effort to ensure fruit fly is managed and controlled. Ultimately it is in everyone’s best interests; our growers’ livelihoods are at stake and if crops are destroyed then a significant industry is affected and the flow on effect could be catastrophic for the Mildura region.

Find out more about how you can stop Queensland Fruit Fly in your garden at http://www.pestfreearea.com.au/

Cr Glenn Milne

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