Biosecurity alerts: Queensland fruit fly updates

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is currently responding to an outbreak of Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) in Perth's western suburbs.

Qfly is exotic to Western Australia.

An eradication program is underway to help prevent the spread of this pest, which includes surveillance and baiting activities, and establishment of a Quarantine Area. Residents and businesses within the Quarantine Area MUST comply with host fruit movement and management requirements.

Residents can find out more about the eradication program and how they can assist below.

The Department has recently commenced its next phase towards eradicating Qfly – the Spring baiting program which is an intensive Qfly baiting and surveillance program. It runs from September through to December.

The Department Qfly Quarantine Area has also been expanded north of the current boundary, to include another 923 hectares and five new suburbs – Mount Claremont, Shenton Park, Cottesloe, Peppermint Grove and Crawley. This includes the University of WA, Irwin Barracks, Lake Claremont and Karakatta cemetery.

This is in addition to the original 1130ha Quarantine Area (QA) over Dalkeith and parts of Nedlands and Claremont. The newly expanded QA will encompass about 15,000 properties.

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Queensland fruit fly Quarantine Area 10 July 2020

The QA has been increased due to detections close to the QA border. To prevent further spread, the larger QA will enable surveillance in these new detection areas, as well as the introduction of host fruit management and movement requirements. It is critical to eradication then that residents in the expanded QA comply with these requirements, which are detailed in the Qfly Quarantine Area Notice.

The Department is now tackling its largest Qfly outbreak since WA’s very first Qfly incursion in 1989. Personnel dedicated to the response has been increased significantly to meet the demands of regular property inspections, and baiting and surveillance activities.  

Qfly is the most important economic pest of the Australian horticultural industries. Freedom from Qfly allows Western Australia (WA) to meet national and international requirements for market access of host produce. If the Qfly eradication is not successful, WA will lose access to international markets, which recognise that WA is free from Qfly, including such markets as avocados to Japan.

What do I need to know?

If you live in the Quarantine Area, you must comply with the below. By following these simple steps, we will remove all possibility of Qfly being able to breed, spread and establish in WA.

Movement

  1. Do not take Qfly host fruit* out of the Quarantine Area, unless it has been cooked, frozen for 24 hours, or solarised - even if you are planning to eat it on arrival (school, work, friend's house etc).  
  2. Do not give away host fruit to people who live outside of the Quarantine Area.

Management

  1. Pick all host ripe or ripening fruit from your trees and plants, and pick up all fallen host fruit every three days.
  2. Strip all branches of host fruit before disposing of them as green waste. 

Disposal

  1. Eat or treat (cook, freeze or solarise - see below for clarification).
  2. Bag ALL treated host fruit before disposal.
  3. Bagged and treated host fruit must go in the general waste bin - NOT in the green waste bin.

Qfly hosts and suspect hosts are listed in the Quarantine Area Notice.

How was Qfly detected?

Qfly was detected by DPIRD through its permanent grid of approximately 2000 surveillance lure traps located across the Perth metropolitan area.

A number of male Qfly were first detected in late March 2020 in Dalkeith, and additional Qfly lure traps were placed around detection points to determine the spread of the outbreak. Further male Qfly were subsequently detected in Claremont and Nedlands.

It is important to note there have been no Qfly detections in any commercial fruit or vegetable production areas within WA this season.

What types of fruit does Qfly affect?

Qfly is considered to be one of Australia's most serious fruit pests, with a wider host range than the endemic Medfly. Hosts of Qfly, which includes some fruiting vegetables, are listed in the Quarantine Area Notice.

The Qfly host list is extensive, including – but not limited to - backyard favourites such as citrus, bananas, stone fruit, olives, tomatoes, avocado, mango, passionfruit, tomato, capsicum and chillies.

What is the Qfly eradication program?

DPIRD’s Qfly eradication program includes baiting and surveillance activities, and the establishment of an Outbreak Zone, a Quarantine Area, and a Suspension Area. This eradication program is being managed in accordance with the national Code of Practice for Management of Queensland Fruit Fly 1996.

What is the Quarantine Area?

The Quarantine Area covers a 1.5km radius from where Qfly have been detected, and will be in place until further notice.

In this current eradication program, the first Quarantine Area Notice (QAN) published on 3 April 2020 declared a Quarantine Area over all of Dalkeith, and parts of Claremont and Nedlands. The second QAN published on 10 July 2020 expanded the Quarantine Area to include Mount Claremont, Shenton Park, Cottesloe, Peppermint Grove and Crawley.

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Queensland fruit fly Quarantine Area 10 July 2020

The area bordered by and including the river line south of Crawley Steps, along the river line to the river line east of Forrest Street, north of Forrest Street, east of Railway Street, north of Eric Street, east of Curtin Avenue, east of West Coast Highway, south of Alfred Road, east of Montgomery Avenue, south of Mooro Drive, east and south of John Xxiii Avenue, east of Brockway Road, south of Lemnos Street, east of Selby Street, south east of Nash Street, under subway, south of Nicholson Road, south west of Thomas Street, west of Winthrop Avenue, south of Poole Avenue, west and south of Park Avenue, west of Forrest Drive, north west of Crawley Steps to the river line.

Note – This map may change depending on location of future Qfly detections.

Page last updated: Monday, 7 September 2020 - 8:55pm