Spring fruit provides breeding ground for problem pest in western suburbs

Spring fruit provides breeding ground for problem pest in western suburbs

Spring is great for many yard fruits to ripen, but it also provides a prime breeding ground for a problem pest in Perth’s western suburbs.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is reminding residents in the area to regularly remove in-season fruit from their trees as part of a vital campaign to eradicate Queensland fruit fly (Qfly).

“Fruits such as mulberries, lemons, cumquats and loquats are now in season – which poses a risk for the breeding and spread of Qfly,” department technical area specialist Darryl Hardie said.

“By following some simple steps, we can remove all possibility of Qfly being able to breed, spread and establish in WA.

“If you live in the Quarantine Area:
  • do not take Qfly host fruit out of the Quarantine Area or dispose of it unless the fruit has been cooked, frozen for 24 hours, or solarised (by placing in a black plastic bag and placing in the sun for a minimum of seven days);
  • pick all ripe or ripening host fruit from your trees and plants, and pick up all fallen host fruit every three days;
  • remove all host fruit from any material going to green waste or verge collection.”
Qfly is a damaging pest which, if it became established in Western Australia, would damage the State’s horticultural industries and growers’ businesses.

“The department’s spring baiting program is underway, which involves regular property visits for inspection and baiting,” Dr Hardie said.

“We are making good progress and Qfly numbers are minimal, though we still need help from local residents.
“We thank residents and businesses for their continuing efforts and support.”

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 padis@dpird.wa.gov.au.

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