The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is calling on residents in Coolbellup and surrounds to help eradicate Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) after the exotic pest was trapped in the area.
A Quarantine Area Notice has been issued for Coolbellup and parts of Hamilton Hill, Samson, Bibra Lake, North Lake and Kardinya, within 1.5 km of the Qfly detection, to prevent the pest from spreading.
Qfly is a destructive fruit pest found in some other parts of Australia, but not established in Western Australia. It attacks a wide range of fruit and fruiting vegetables including home-grown favourites such as citrus, stone fruit, olive, avocado, mango, passionfruit, tomato, capsicum and chilli.
Department acting chief plant biosecurity officer Darryl Hardie said the Qfly was detected in a trap which is part of the State’s fruit fly surveillance grid, providing an effective early warning and enabling a rapid response.
Dr Hardie said people living within the designated Quarantine Area would play a vital role by following the quarantine rules and doing their bit to support the eradication effort and the State’s horticulture growers.
“Most importantly, residents in the Quarantine Area must not move any home-grown fruit or fruiting vegetables out of the area, unless it has been cooked, frozen, dried or preserved,” Dr Hardie said.
“Residents should also dispose of all ripe, ripening and fallen fruit and fruiting vegetables every three days.
“If fruit is not able to be eaten, cooked, frozen, dried or preserved, it will need to be solarised. That means it needs to be secured in a sealed, heavy-duty plastic bag and placed on a hard surface in direct sunlight for at least seven days prior to disposal.”
Dr Hardie said fresh (untreated) fruit must not be put in the rubbish bin, compost or fed to poultry.
Department staff are currently visiting properties within 200 metres of the Qfly detection within the Quarantine Area to arrange access to private yards for eradication activities including inspections, trapping, baiting and stripping of fruit.
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
Residents who suspect they have seen Qfly or want further information can call the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080 or email email@example.com
Media contacts: Lisa Bertram, media liaison, +61 (0)8 9368 3937