The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is ramping up its program to eradicate the serious agricultural pest Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) from Perth’s western suburbs.
A Quarantine Area Notice, which has been in place since early April 2020, has been renewed and extended to include areas north of Stirling Highway, following recent detections close to the Quarantine Area’s boundary.
The extension of about 900 hectares includes areas in the north of Claremont and Nedlands, as well as parts of Crawley, Mount Claremont, Cottesloe, Peppermint Grove and Shenton Park.
This is in addition to the original approximately 1100ha Qfly Quarantine Area, spread across Dalkeith and parts of Nedlands and Claremont.
The directions remain the same as the previous Quarantine Area Notice, which prohibits the movement of home-grown Qfly host fruit, including some fruiting vegetables, from the Quarantine Area and requirements for the regular removal and treatment of ripe and ripening Qfly host fruit.
Qfly is a damaging pest, which if it were to become established in Western Australia, would severely impact the state’s horticultural industries, growers’ businesses and access to markets for fruit and fruiting vegetables.
Department chief plant biosecurity officer Sonya Broughton said the eradication campaign had made great progress since the campaign began three months ago.
Dr Broughton said the response had recently been boosted by additional personnel to meet the demands of weekly activities, with more than 170 personnel now inspecting properties, checking Qfly traps and placing organic baits.
“Department personnel have visited more than 3690 premises in the Operational Area since the campaign began, which is a significant undertaking,” she said.
“Baiting has also been undertaken on more than 2240 properties to facilitate eradication of this damaging pest.”
The response is employing a range of initiatives to stop the spread and eradicate Qfly, including mass trapping in hotspots and deploying intelligence teams to investigate each Qfly detection to help identify breeding populations.
The department has also been working with local government authorities to ensure appropriate green waste management to prevent Qfly from being spread outside of the Quarantine Area.
Dr Broughton said the eradication program had received great support from local residents, businesses and local governments.
“We are most grateful to the residents in the Quarantine Area for doing the right thing in removing ripe and ripening Qfly host fruit and fruiting vegetables and keeping it on site to be treated according to the requirements of the Quarantine Area Notice,” she said.
“It is critically important to manage Qfly host fruit and fruiting vegetables within the Quarantine Area appropriately so that there is no suitable fruit available for Qfly females to lay their eggs in.
“We implore residents to remain vigilant and for those new to the Quarantine Area to adopt the correct measures to stop this pest from becoming established in WA.”
Under the Quarantine Area Notice, ripe and ripening host fruit must be removed and picked up from the ground on each property every three days.
Host fruit must be disposed of by eating, cooking, freezing for at least 24 hours or solarising in a sealed heavy-duty black plastic bag placed in direct sunlight on a hard surface for a minimum of seven days.
A map of the updated Quarantine Area, a full list of host fruit and fruiting vegetables and more advice is available on the department’s website agric.wa.gov.au/qflyupdate
Residents and businesses can also contact the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jodie Thomson/Megan Broad, media liaison
+61 (0)8 9368 3937