The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is calling on residents in Dalkeith and surrounding suburbs to support efforts to stamp out the exotic pest Queensland fruit fly (Qfly).
It follows the detection of Qfly in traps in the area, which form part of the State’s early warning system for the fruit pest.
Qfly is one of the world’s worst fruit pests, attacking a range of fruits and some fruiting vegetables. It is found in some other parts of Australia but Western Australia is free of this significant pest.
Department chief plant biosecurity officer Sonya Broughton said a Quarantine Area applying across parts of the suburbs of Dalkeith, Nedlands and Claremont was now in effect to prevent potential spread of the pest.
“Residents must not move any home-grown fruit or fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes, chillies or capsicums out of this area, unless it has been cooked, frozen, dried or preserved,” Dr Broughton said.
“Residents should also dispose of ripening and fallen fruit and fruiting vegetables every three days.
“The easiest and most beneficial option for disposing of fruit and vegetables is to eat, cook, freeze, preserve or dry it. Otherwise fruit and tomato, capsicum and chilli should be secured in a sealed, heavy-duty plastic bag and placed on a hard surface in direct sunlight for at least seven days before disposing of it.
“Fruit must not be put in the rubbish bin, compost, or fed to poultry until it has been processed in one of these ways. Other disposal options are detailed on the department’s website.”
Department staff are carrying out trapping, inspections and baiting of host plants on nearby street trees and verges near where Qfly have been detected.
It is also critical that departmental officers can access private premises with host trees and plants to conduct trapping, inspections and baiting. Residents will receive a card in their letterboxes asking that they contact the department to discuss appropriate access to carry out these activities.
“It is vital we work together to eradicate this pest, to support our local horticultural growers and also those who want to continue producing home-grown fruit and fruiting vegetables,” Dr Broughton said.
“Officers will be arranging a safe and convenient time to access properties, and will be following appropriate operating procedures to ensure safe working practices in relation to COVID-19 for both staff and the community.”
Incursions of Qfly have been eradicated from Perth seven times since the 1980s, most recently in Como and Fremantle 2018, thanks to cooperation between the local community and the department.
A map of the Quarantine Area, full list of host fruit and vegetables and more advice to residents is available here.
Residents who suspect they have seen Qfly or have fruit or fruiting vegetables 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Media contacts: Jodie Thomson, media liaison, +61 (0)8 9368 3937