Fruit fly in Auckland – situation update 22 February 2019

Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

Second Facialis fruit fly detected

A second Facialis fruit fly has been found in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Ōtara, just 70 metres from the first detection earlier in the week.

The detection of a solitary male fly within the controlled Zone A gives us confidence our trapping programme is working, says Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson, Dr Catherine Duthie.

"We remain of the view that it is highly unlikely that a breeding population of Facialis fruit fly would establish in New Zealand because of our climate. Facialis has never established anywhere in the world outside of Tonga.

"However, our enhanced surveillance programme in the area will continue as a precautionary measure."

Background and current situation

Two single male Queensland fruit flies have been found in separate surveillance traps in the Auckland North Shore suburbs of Devonport (February 14), and Northcote (February 20).  At the moment, these are 2 single males found quite some distance apart, and there's no evidence of a breeding population. 

Queensland fruit flies

The Queensland fruit fly has been detected before in the upper North Island in the past decade. Biosecurity New Zealand's staff are well practised in dealing with this situation. Since the fruit fly was found, we've been working to locate any other possible fruit flies.

Two seperate single male Facialis fruit flies have been found in separate surveillance traps in Ōtara (February 18 and 21), both within the current control Zone A.

Facialis fruit flies

To manage the fruit fly that has been found, a Controlled Area Notice (CAN) has been issued for all 3 suburbs. This restricts the movement of certain fruit and vegetables out of the Controlled Area to help prevent the spread of any fruit flies if any are present.

Find out about the Controlled Area and movement controls. You can download the CANs for Devonport, Northcote and Ōtara from the MPI website:

More information on CANs

If there are no further detections, the operations in each area are expected to end 14 days after the last detection.

The fruit fly response at a glance:

Facialis fruit fly - Ōtara

  • A second single male Facialis fruit fly was found 70 metres from the first detection.
  • Field crews have set up a field headquarters and are placing traps.
  • 104 fruit fly traps have so far been deployed in Zone A and 125 in Zone B. additional traps will continue to be deployed into the zones over the next few days.
  • Bin distribution is underway across Zones A and B. The bins are provided so local people can safely dispose of fruit and vegetable waste.
  • Leaflets have been translated into a number of languages including Samoan, Tongan, Chinese, Cook Island Maori, Fijian and Hindi and are now being shared amongst the local community.
  • Biosecurity New Zealand representatives will be attending a meeting with local community and church leaders tonight to update them on the situation.
  • Tomorrow, field teams will be at the Ōtara market talking to residents. It is important to note, the market is outside the controlled area so people can continue to buy fruit and vegetables from the market as usual.
  • While residents are enjoying the Ōtara Markets tomorrow, they will see an increased biosecurity presence around. Our friendly Biosecurity New Zealand staff will be there to provide information to local residents and hand out leaflets. It is important to note the Ōtara Markets are outside of the Facialis fruit fly control zones so residents don't need to worry about purchasing fruit and vegetables there.

Queensland Fruit Fly - Northcote

  • No new Queensland fruit flies have been found to date.
  • 64 additional traps have now been deployed in Zone A and 39 traps have been deployed in Zone B. Almost 100 additional traps will be deployed into the zones within the next 2 days.
  • Fruit fly traps in Zone A are being inspected daily, and those in Zone B are being inspected every 3 days. If fruit flies are present, these traps will catch them.
  • Traps are placed in home gardens where fruit fly host plants (for example fruit trees) are found.
  • By Saturday, all Queensland fruit fly traps on the North Shore will have been checked at least once.
  • Staff are visiting homes in Zone A, checking for fruit trees, vegetable gardens and compost facilities that could provide suitable habitat for fruit flies. Fruit and vegetable samples will be taken from home gardens to check for fruit fly contamination.
  • Field workers are out in force talking to local residents, providing information about the controls and how they can support the response.

Queensland Fruit Fly - Devonport  

  • No new Queensland fruit flies have been found to date.
  • Fruit fly traps in Zone A are being inspected daily, and those in Zone B are being inspected every 3 days. 92 additional traps have now been deployed in Zone A and 80 traps have been deployed in Zone B. All traps are now in place in Devonport, no further traps will be laid, but that will be reviewed if further QFF are detected.
  • Bin distribution is now complete with 144 bins between Zones A and B. Collected fruit is being taken to Biosecurity New Zealand's field laboratory.

What you can do

If you find larvae inside fruit, or believe you have seen a fruit fly, keep hold of it and call 0800 80 99 66.

If you live around Devonport, Ōtara, or Northcote: find out if you're in the Controlled Area. If so, you will need to follow legal restrictions around movement of fruit and vegetables. Remember – if in doubt, don't take it out.

Find out more about the Queensland fruit fly and see photos

Find out about the Facialis fruit fly found in Ōtara

Last reviewed: