Biosecurity alerts: Queensland fruit fly updates

Queensland fruit fly is not present in Western Australia, but is occasionally detected and requires an eradication response to contain and prevent further spread.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development acts quickly to respond to incursions by implementing an eradication program according to the Australian Fruit Fly Code of Practice, which includes the establishment of Outbreak Zones, a Quarantine Area and a Suspension Zone.

Refer below for updates on current and previous eradication programs.

Thankyou

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and horticultural growers would like to acknowledge and thank everyone who cooperates and assists in our eradication campaigns.

Our responses to outbreaks are very much a community response, and containment of this pest is not possible without the willing participation of the community. In particular we rely on compliance with movement/disposal restrictions and accommodating repeated property visits. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

We are also grateful for the support of local businesses, community gardens, markets, local government and other community groups, and their willingness to distribute information to maximise awareness amongst the community.

The department is also grateful for the support of industry, which is always vital to achieving a successful outcome.

May 2018 - eradicated

Location: Como

Status: As of 2 November 2018, the Quarantine Area Notice applying to Como, South Perth, Kensington, Karawara and Bentley, and the suspension of Qfly area freedom within a 15km radius of the detections, have been lifted.

Outcome: Eradicated

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development detected a number of male Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) in the Perth suburb of Como during May 2018. The Qfly were detected in a residential area, and there continued to be no recent detections in any commercial fruit or vegetable production areas.

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Applying Qfly bait to host plants

January 2018 - eradicated

Location: Fremantle and parts of North Fremantle, East Fremantle and White Gum Valley

Status: As of 19 April 2018, the Quarantine Area Notice applying to Fremantle and parts of North Fremantle, East Fremantle and White Gum Valley, and the suspension of Qfly area freedom within a 15km radius of the detection have been lifted.

Outcome: Eradicated

An adult female Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) was found on 24 January 2018 in a Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) surveillance trap, in a residential area just east of the Fremantle CBD.
Related documentation

What happens during an eradication program

Action is taken in accordance with the Australia Fruit Fly Code of Practice. This includes establishing three zones. Different restrictions apply to each zone.

  • An Outbreak Zone around a 200m radius of the detection point (baiting concluded 18 August 2018, surveillance ongoing).
  • A Quarantine Area around a 1.5km radius of the detection point (movement and disposal restrictions on home-grown fruit and vegetables will remain in place until at least November 2018).
  • A Suspension Area around a 15km radius of the detection point (host fruit cannot be exported from within this area without treatment or other approved protocol).

Quarantine Area restrictions

Movement 

Home-grown fruit and vegetables cannot be moved out of a Quarantine Area, and must be disposed of according to strict guidelines.

Nobody wants Qfly in Western Australia. To eradicate this pest we need the participation and support of residents and businesses within the Quarantine Areas as we carry out our response activities.

The department is exploring all avenues to remove pathways through which Qfly can spread to other areas. This includes:

  • Community gardens and public property where fruit trees are located. If within the Quarantine Area, the same rules apply to fruit and vegetables grown on these properties.
  • Online trading of fruit. Many properties have an excess of citrus during winter. Sellers at this time located within a Quarantine Area must remove their advertisements until further notice.
  • Home gardeners and gardening contractors must ensure that greenwaste is not disposed of before being stripped of fruit and vegetables. This includes greenwaste put out for verge collection. Fruit and vegetables must then be disposed of according to disposal guidelines.

Disposal 

The Quarantine Area Notice stipulates that ripening and fallen fruit must be disposed of every three days. Regular removal of fruit means that fruit fly will be unable to lay eggs and start the breeding cycle. Disposing of fruit and vegetables according to the guidelines below will kill any eggs or larvae.

Where fruit is inaccessible, wait until it has fallen to the ground and then dispose of accordingly. 

Disposal options include:

  • Eating or cooking (boil or microwave).
  • Freezing (minimum 24 hours).
  • Solarising - place in a sealed, heavy-duty black plastic bag which is placed in direct sunlight for three days.
  • Soaking - place in a bucket or large container of water with a film of white oil for at least seven days.
  • Burying to a depth of at least 1 metre as Qfly adults can emerge from under the soil surface.
  • Do not give away any home-grown fruit or vegetables.

Only after boiling, solarising or freezing you can:

  • Feed it to poultry.
  • Compost it.
  • Put in the rubbish.

Making traps and bait at home

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Home-made fruit fly traps

The community can also participate by making a fruit fly trap. Making a trap is an easy and cost effective way of finding out if you have fruit flies on your property. You can also purchase a safe and organic foliar bait mixture to spray on your trees and prevent infestation.

For instructions, refer to the make-a-trap flyer and Medfly management video (also applicable to Qfly).

If you catch any fruit flies in your traps send a photo via our reporting options.

The department is keen to know about other fruit flies in the area, even if you think it might be Medfly, which is endemic in Perth. Qfly can be easily mistaken for Medfly, although Qfly is larger and reddish brown and has clear wings. 

Reporting options

About Qfly

Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) is a serious pest of fruit and vegetables. Qfly have clear wings unlike Medfly which have brown bands on their wings.
Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) is a serious pest of fruit and vegetables. Qfly have clear wings unlike Medfly which have brown bands on their wings.

Qfly is regarded to be a more serious pest than the endemic Medfly for a number of reasons including:

  • Qfly attacks a wider range of commercial and native trees, vine fruits, fruit and solanaceous fruiting vegetables such as eggplant, tomato, capsicum and chili.
  • Qfly can attack fruits and some fruiting vegetables at an earlier maturity stage.
  • More insecticide may need to be applied to fruits and vegetables.

Go to the Qfly web page for more information, including description.

Qfly host list

See the Quarantine Area Notice for a full host list.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 14 November 2018 - 4:56pm