Carnarvon residents have been encouraged to support local growers’ endeavours to control the significant horticulture pest Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) by hanging traps on their backyard trees.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is giving away Medfly traps, which include a lure and a small quantity of a natural organic baiting solution, to help protect the region’s $80 million horticultural industry.
Department research officer Oonagh Byrne said the backyard traps would boost efforts to minimise the impact of Medfly in residential areas and nearby plantations, complementing year-round control programs.
“The department is working with the Carnarvon Growers Association Recognised Biosecurity Group to control Medfly using a combination of area-wide foliar baiting, trapping, regulatory compliance measures and community engagement,” Dr Byrne said.
“Sterile Medflies have also been released by the millions in the region over the past 12 months but to successfully eradicate the pest, all fruit trees – commercial and backyard – must be included in the trapping and baiting program.
“It is also important for all residents to pick and dispose of unwanted fruit from their trees and collect fallen fruit to help break the Medfly lifecycle and aid the success of the control program.”
Medfly costs Western Australia’s horticulture industry $10.2 million per annum each year in lost production and control measures.
The pest attacks a wide range of locally grown fruit trees, including citrus, mangoes, fig, avocado, pawpaw and stone fruit, as well as some vegetable crops, such as chillies.
The free Medfly trap includes a biolure that attracts Medfly into the trap and onto a small strip containing pesticide.
An environmentally friendly, pesticide-free solution, which has a food-based fruit fly attractant that provides excellent control, is also available upon request.
The traps, which last for three months, are most effective when installed on fruit trees before the fruit has grown to its final size.
To order a free trap, baiting solution or a replacement lure, contact Carnarvon Growers Association Recognised Biosecurity Group executive officer Ian Foxley on 0418 353 171 or email rbg@ cga.org.au
Jodie Thomson/Megan Broad, media liaison
+61 (0)8 9368 3937