Winter with its cold days and frosts does help kill off adult Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) that have bred up in high numbers over autumn. Baiting needs to start to reduce the numbers of fruit fly overwintering, ready to start breeding as the weather warms up. Adult Qfly survive for up to 4 months in the cold weather, compared to less than 2 months in summer.
No Qfly in traps over winter doesn’t mean there are no fruit flies just that they are less active in cold weather and will not move around as much. At temperatures of 2-3°C or below Qfly may be unable to move but if there are a few sunny days in flies may be seen in the traps.
As deciduous trees and vines lose their leaves and are exposed to the elements, Qfly will look for shelter and protection from the cold weather. Spreading evergreen trees with large leaves e.g., avocadoes, citrus, loquats, or native vegetation, may be a safe refuge as cold weather sets in. These plants provide a warmer area with protection from heavy frosts, rain and cold winds, moisture and predators. Temperatures within the canopy of a tree can register as high as 5-7°C when the temperature outside is at 0°C.
Qfly will also look for refuge around buildings e.g., sheds and houses that are heated during winter.
Wind breaks of olive or avocado trees also provide a safe harbour for fruit Qfly over winter.
Look out for the lemon tree near the house or sheds as this is an ideal place for fruit fly to over winter.
Baiting these trees during later winter late July - August is a good way to reduce the number of over wintered flies and help control fly numbers in Spring.
Fruit flies are a significant threat to horticulture. They can have major impacts on Australia's capacity to trade competitively in international markets. The effective management Queensland fruit fly ensures producers can develop, maintain and enhance access into domestic and international markets.
Queensland fruit fly is a pest that requires everyone to be involved in controlling the insect and restricting its spread.
The main way that Queensland fruit fly spreads to new areas is by being carried in infested host fruit and vegetables. QFF has the potential to infest a wide range of horticultural crops, garden plants, native plants and weeds.
Host fruit (PDF, 894 KB) cannot be transported into the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area or across some state borders unless the consignment is accompanied by an industry certification arrangement or a permit issued by a state authority.
The Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area (GSPFA) was created in 2007 by agreement between New South Wales and Victoria. The GSPFA follows the course of the Murray River from Kerang to Wentworth and the Darling River from Wentworth to Pooncarie. The Pest Free Area enables commercial horticultural products to be marketed without postharvest chemical treatments for Queensland fruit fly.
As of July 1 2013 there is no longer a requirement to treat and certify QFF host produce moving into or within New South Wales and Victoria excluding the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area.
For the remainder of New South Wales and Victoria, host produce can be moved without certification on the condition that the fruit is free of QFF. Businesses and individuals found to be transporting infested fruit will face regulatory action.
If you currently hold a Certification Assurance arrangement (e.g. a CA or ICA) for access to QFF sensitive markets like Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area, you should consider maintaining these arrangements to ensure continued market access. Please check with the destination state to ensure your accreditation is accepted.
NSW DPI remains committed to assisting industry in managing fruit fly and will continue to provide ongoing support to the industry, including trapping, market access negotiations, certification, technical advice and research to provide area freedom from exotic fruit flies (such as Mediterranean fruit fly).
This recently completed project successfully demonstrated that we can effectively suppress endemic populations of Queensland fruit fly using an Area Wide - Integrated Pest Management (AW-IPM) approach incorporating the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT).
One of the key outputs were animated maps of the SIT-treated orchards, permitting a movie-clip type visual representation of the temporal progression of wild and sterile male and female Queensland fruit fly activity across two commercial orchards.
Queensland fruit fly is different from the small dark brown drosophila flies (also called vinegar flies or ferment flies) that loiter around ripe and decaying fruit. Drosophila flies are not agricultural pests but can be a nuisance where fruit and vegetables are stored.
Queensland fruit fly is native to eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales. The ready availability of suitable hosts and habitat in urban and horticultural production areas in Queensland, Northern Territory, New South Wales and Victoria has enabled QFF to expand its natural range.
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