Biosecurity alerts: Queensland fruit fly updates

Quarantine Area Notice requirements

Under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Regulations 2013, attempts to dispose of host material incorrectly or remove it from the Quarantine Area may result in a fine. You will be notified when regulations are lifted.

Moving Qfly host fruit 

NB. The Outbreak Zone sits inside the larger Quarantine Area, and therefore the below also applies to the Outbreak Zone. If you are in the Quarantine Area (QA):

  • DO NOT move Qfly host fruit from the QA, unless cooked, frozen for 24 hours or solarised (see disposal regulations below for more details).
  • Requirements apply even if you are taking fruit to work, school etc to be eaten there.
  • Even if host fruit has been sourced outside of the QA, it can't be taken back out again.
  • Do not give away Qfly host fruit to anyone living outside of the QA.
  • Home gardeners and gardening contractors must ensure that green waste is stripped of all host fruit before being put into green waste bins, left out for verge collection or taken to the tip. Stripped fruit must be eaten or treated (see disposal requirements below).
  • Do not undertake online trading of fruit, as you cannot guarantee the fruit will not be removed from the QA.
  • QA requirements apply to community gardens, public property and commercial premises where host fruit trees are located.

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

Disposal of Qfly host fruit grown in the Quarantine Area

  • Ripe and ripening Qfly host fruit on plants or trees, and host fruit that has fallen to the ground must be removed and disposed of every three days.
  • Unripe host fruit can be kept on trees and plants until they start to ripen, and provided (if you are in the Outbreak Zone) Qfly response personnel have regular access to your property for eradication activities.
  • Once fruit has been removed, eat or treat through one of the following:
    • Cooking (eg. boiling or microwaving).
    • Freezing (for a minimum of 24 hours).
    • Solarising in a sealed, heavy-duty black plastic bag by placing in direct sunlight on a hard surface (for a minimum of seven days).
  • Bag and bin in the general waste bin - NOT in the green waste bin.
  • If keeping for eating, immediately refrigerate until it is consumed.

With regular removal of fruit, Qfly will not be able to lay eggs and start the breeding cycle.

Disposal guidelines extend to all parts of the fruit, so if eating or cooking dispose of host fruit and vegetable scraps/ offcuts/ peels/ rinds etc. as required above.

What is the Outbreak Zone?

The Outbreak Zone is the most critical area of the eradication program, as it is an area within 200m of a positive Qfly detection. Maps are not available at this time as this zone changes almost daily.

If you are within an Outbreak Zone, Qfly response personnel will need access to your property for eradication activities. 

  • Qfly response personnel will door knock to carry out an initial inspection. 
  • If you are not home, you will receive a Contact Card in your letterbox, requesting that you register online or contact our Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS) on 9368 3080 or padis@dpird.wa.gov.au so we can schedule a visit.
  • You may receive a Contact Card more than once. One will be left every time Qfly response personnel visit and you are not home.
  • If you receive a Contact Card, but have previously registered online, you do not need to register again - call or email PaDIS.
  • If DPIRD does not hear from you, we will call or you will be visited by Qfly response personnel. 

If you know a resident within the Outbreak Zone who has not been visited or contacted, please encourage them to do so urgently, even if they do not have host plants or plants currently in fruit.

We need to visit every property in the Outbreak Zone to determine where Qfly host plants are located, and to commence eradication activities.

By contacting DPIRD door knocking can be avoided, which might be a concern for residents due to matters relating to COVID-19. 

Qfly response personnel will be following appropriate operating procedures to ensure safe working practices in relation to COVID-19, to ensure the safety of both staff and the community.

If you see any chemical caution signs within the Outbreak Zone, do not panic. This is just to comply with current legislation and to indicate the use of Naturalure® insecticide bait, which has organic certification by the Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA) Co-op Ltd. This product contains spinosad, which is a naturally derived, toxicant, produced as a fermentation by-product from a soil bacterium, Saccharopolyspora spinosa. It is organic. Refer to the Naturalure® FAQs.

What will happen when you visit my property?

  • Qfly response personnel will make an initial visit to identify or confirm you have host trees and plants with Qfly host fruit. If you have advised DPIRD you have no host plants, DPIRD will still need to visit your property to confirm.
  • During the visit Qfly response personnel will inspect host fruit for possible Qfly damage, and collect samples to determine if they contain Qfly larvae.
  • During subsequent visits (if you have host trees), DPIRD will inspect any Qfly lure traps if installed.
  • DPIRD will apply spots of bait to host tree foliage twice weekly for the first two weeks, and weekly thereafter until further notice. The bait used is a registered organic insecticide called Naturalure® (refer to Naturalure® FAQs). A small amount is applied to the trunk or foliage of Qfly host trees or shade trees (where no host trees are present) as a spot, and Qfly die on ingestion. Refer to the Naturalure® fact sheet.
  • Bait spotting will also take place on public properties and street trees.
  • DPIRD will check that all RIPENING AND RIPE Qfly host fruit on plants or trees, and all host fruit that has fallen to the ground is being removed every three days

View a video of bait application.  

Video of bait application.mp4

DPIRD requires your help to eradicate Qfly from WA by removing their ability to breed in backyard gardens, by applying baits to plants. An added benefit of the eradication activities will be providing the backyard fruit you grow this year with protection not only from Qfly, but also the already present Medfly and other fruit flies.

Refusal to allow REGULAR property access

If DPIRD is not granted access to a property to confirm that host fruit is being managed correctly, and to carry out eradication activities, DPIRD will issue a Pest Control Notice (PCN), requiring that all host fruit be stripped from all trees and plant on the premises, regardless of ripeness. Removed fruit must be diposed of as per the Quarantine Area Notice.

DPIRD personnel will conduct follow-up visits to confirm compliance with the PCN, and DPRID will take remidal action if it is found that host material on that property is not being managed correctly.

This is the only way DPIRD can ensure there is no opportunity for Qfly to breed and continue to infest surrounding properties.

COVID-19 concerns

DPIRD understands that the COVID-19 Pandemic is presenting challenges not experienced during previous Qfly eradication programs. This includes resident concerns about social distancing, and also reluctance to throw away Qfly host fruit, particularly if residents are opting to rely on their garden produce to reduce supermarket visits.

These concerns have been a priority since the start of the eradication program, with Standard Operating Procedures being developed based on national and state government health advice, including social distancing and appropriate hand sanitisation practices.

What is the Suppression Area?

Area Freedom for Qfly has been suspended within the 15km Suspension Area, meaning commercial Qfly host fruit grown within this area cannot be exported from the area without treatment or other approved protocol.

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

Has Qfly been eradicated before?

Qfly has been eradicated in Perth seven times since 1989, most recently in Como and Fremantle in 2018. DPIRD’s eradication program is carried out based on nationally agreed protocols.

This is the largest Qfly outbreak DPIRD has dealt with since the initial outbreak in Dalkeith in 1989.

Need help?

Our Pest and Disease Information Service can clarify or tailor disposal advice to achieve the best option for your property.

Call 08 9368 3080 or email padis@dpird.wa.gov.au

*host fruit is listed in the QA Notice on this website.

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