Biosecurity alerts: Queensland fruit fly updates

Eradication program

As part of the eradication program, DPIRD has established three zones (see map). Different restrictions apply to each zone.

  • An Outbreak Zone around a 200m radius of the detection point.
  • A Quarantine Area around a 1.5km radius of the detection point.
  • A Suspension Area around a 15km radius of the detection point.

Outbreak zone (information for residents and businesses)

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Applying Qfly bait to host plants

Within the Outbreak Zone, additional traps have been deployed and are being checked regularly. DPIRD has been making contact with owners/occupiers to get access to private properties with host trees, to inspect fruit and carry out baiting. Host street trees are also being baited. 

Where owners/occupiers are not home, a contact card is being left, with details on how to make an appointment with DPIRD officers to return and carry out baiting.

DPIRD officers will be clearly identifiable by uniform and will carry photo identification. Support staff will also carry photo ID.

Quarantine Area (information for residents and businesses)

A Quarantine Area Notice (QAN) will be published in the West Australian on Saturday 5 May 2018 and in the Southern Gazette on Tuesday 8 May 2018. It applies to all or parts of Como and surrounding suburbs.

The Quarantine Area Notice (QAN) instructs the following:

  • Non-commercial and home-grown fruit must not be taken out of the Quarantine Area unless it has been cooked or processed, or approved by the DPIRD Director General.
  • Ensure any ripening fruit or vegetables on host plants, or any fruit that has fallen to the ground is removed and disposed of every three days.
  • The fruit can be disposed of by eating, cooking (boil or microwave), freezing or securing in a sealed heavy duty black plastic bag which is placed in direct sunlight for a period of three days. This should kill any flies or larvae before disposing of in regular bins.
  • Do not place untreated fruit or vegetables into compost.
  • Do not give your fruit and vegetables away.

Under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Regulations 2013, failure to comply with movement restrictions can result in fines. We are appealing to residents to do the right thing in supporting WA’s horticultural industries.

The QAN will remain in place until mid-October 2018. It may be extended if any further flies are detected. Residents in the Quarantine Area will be notified when the response program concludes.

Suspension Area (information for producers and industry)

Area Freedom for susceptible hosts within the 15km Suspension Area has been suspended, meaning host fruit cannot be exported from within this area without treatment or other approved protocol. While this is not a significant commercial fruit or vegetable production area, the department will work with industry to assess whether any growers or packing houses may be impacted.

Western Australia’s Area Freedom from Qfly, which underpins market access for a range of produce, remains in place for the remainder of WA.

Industry can be assured the department is making every effort to contain this most recent outbreak and prevent any spread. The department has acted quickly to implement an eradication program according to the Australian Fruit Fly Code of Practice.

To date an additional 35 traps have been placed in the Outbreak Zones, which are being checked twice-weekly.

Further industry information, including successful market access negotiations, will be provided direct to your industry groups.

Disposal guidelines if you have trees full of fruit

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.
Page last updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2018 - 4:50pm