News & Media

Como fruit fly detections prompt call to residents for assistance

Released on

Released on:
Friday, 4. May 2018 - 14:00

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is calling on residents in Como and surrounds to support efforts to stamp out the destructive pest Queensland fruit fly (Qfly).

It follows recent detections of male Qfly in traps in the area, which form part of the State’s early warning trapping system for the fruit pest.

Department biosecurity manager Rosalie McCauley said a Quarantine Area applying to all or parts of Como, Karawara, South Perth and Kensington would come into effect from Saturday 5 May, to prevent any potential spread of the pest.

“This means residents must not move any home-grown fruit or vegetables such as tomatoes, chillies or capsicums out of this area unless it has been cooked or preserved,” Ms McCauley said.

“Residents are also asked to assist by removing ripening fruit from their trees and picking up any fallen fruit.

“The fruit can be eaten, cooked, frozen or disposed of by securing it in a heavy duty plastic bag and placing it in direct sunlight for at least three days. Untreated host fruit should not be placed into compost.”

Qfly is a destructive fruit pest, attacking a range of fruits and some vegetables. It is found in some other parts of Australia but Western Australia is considered free of the pest.

Department staff are visiting properties close to where the flies have been trapped to carry out inspections. Additional fruit fly traps have been set up in the area and officers will be baiting nearby trees and verges.

“We appreciate support from residents in allowing us to access their yards and in adhering to the quarantine requirements,” Ms McCauley said.

“It is vital we work together to eradicate this pest, to support our valuable horticultural industries and those who would like to continue producing home-grown fruit and vegetables.

“We are working with the WA fruit and vegetable industries in response to this detection.”

Incursions of Qfly have been eradicated from Perth five times since the 1980s, most recently in April this year in Fremantle where the pest was successfully eradicated thanks to the support from the community for the department’s response.

A map of the Quarantine Area, full list of host fruit and vegetables and more advice to residents is available on the department website agric.wa.gov.au

The measures will likely remain in place until at least October 2018.

Residents who suspect they have seen Qfly or have fruit that is not normally infested with fruit fly can call the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080.

Alternatively they can send photos via the department’s MyPestGuide Reporter app (Google Play Store and Apple iTunes Store), or email padis@dpird.wa.gov.au

Media contacts: Jodie Thomson/Katrina Bowers, media liaison, +61 (0)8 9368 3937/3789