The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is stepping up its campaign to eradicate Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) from Perth’s western suburbs.
An intensive 14-week spring tree baiting program will commence on 31 August and run through until late December. An organic pesticide bait will be applied to suitable foliage on host and other shady plants.
The program requires visiting every property located in the Quarantine Area on a regular basis to inspect ripening fruit on host plants, such as citrus trees, for Qfly larvae, and to undertake baiting and check surveillance traps.
Department Chief Plant Biosecurity Officer Sonya Broughton said regular baiting and surveillance was critical to ensure the eradication of this pest.
“Good progress has been made since the Quarantine Area Notice (QAN) was first put in place in April when Qfly was detected in the area,” Dr Broughton said.
“We appreciate the ongoing support from residents, businesses and local governments and their continued compliance with the requirements of the QAN.
“We ask the community to continue to work with us and to follow the instructions through the spring baiting program.”
Dr Broughton said the department currently had more than 100 people working on the response undertaking baiting and surveillance work.
“This number is expected to rise to about 250 with the commencement of the spring baiting program,” Dr Broughton said.
“As we move into this intensive baiting and surveillance phase, it is vital to the success of the program that our response teams are provided with regular access to front and back yards to undertake baiting and other eradication activities.
“We do not need to access homes or check inside buildings.
“Residents will receive a letter from the department about the program prior to operations commencing in their area.”
Qfly is a damaging pest which, if it became established in Western Australia, would severely impact the State’s horticultural industries, growers’ businesses and access to markets for fruit and fruiting vegetables.
Importantly for residents in the Quarantine Area, it could attack home-grown fruit and vegetables.
Dr Broughton thanked residents for doing a great job of removing, treating and disposing host fruit as part of the quarantine directions and urged them to continue with their efforts.
“Ripe and ripening host fruit must be removed and picked up from the ground on each property every three days and must be eaten or treated prior to disposal.
“Host fruit must be disposed of by eating, cooking, freezing for at least 24 hours or by solarising in a sealed, heavy-duty black plastic bag placed in direct sunlight on a hard surface for a minimum of seven days.
“All treated fruit should be disposed in the general waste bin, not the green waste bin or in backyard compost heaps.”
For more information, including a list of Qfly host fruit and fruiting vegetables visit agric.wa.gov.au/qflyupdate
Residents and businesses can also contact the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080 or firstname.lastname@example.org