The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has called on Fremantle residents to help keep Western Australia free of an unwanted fruit fly.
An adult female Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) was recently captured in a department surveillance trap in a residential area, just east of the Fremantle CBD.
Department senior research officer Darryl Hardie said Qfly was a destructive fruit pest, impacting on a range of fruits and some vegetables.
“Western Australia is free from this pest, and it is vital for our horticultural industries and for people who wish to continue growing fruit and vegetables in their backyard, that we keep this pest out,” Dr Hardie said.
“Department staff are visiting properties close to where the fly was trapped to carry out inspections and we appreciate the support from residents in allowing us to access their yards.
“Additional fruit fly traps have been set up in the area and officers will be baiting nearby trees and verges using an organic insecticide.”
A Quarantine Area has been established for Fremantle and parts of the suburbs of White Gum Valley, East Fremantle and North Fremantle, to prevent any potential spread of the pest.
“Residents in this area 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,” Dr Hardie 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.”
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 remain in place until 18 April 2018, provided there are no further Qfly detections.
Residents who suspect they have seen Qfly can call the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080. Alternatively they can use the department’s MyPestGuide Reporter app to send in a report, available to download for free from the Google Play Store and Apple iTunes Store.
Media contacts: Jodie Thomson/Lisa Bertram, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937