On the ground efforts to manage the recent fruit fly detections in the Northcote area continue, with the possibility of some controls remaining in place throughout the winter months.
Over the past month, operational activity has stepped up to include placing bait on fruit trees to attract and kill adult flies, in particular females, and the continuation of intensive trapping.
“The risk of finding further fruit flies is still a concern, and the focus on maintaining controls and continuing with baiting and trapping remains a priority,” says biosecurity spokesperson Dr Catherine Duthie.
“Despite the large on the ground efforts, another male fruit fly was found last week in one of the network of fruit fly traps. That tells us we can’t relax any of our efforts.”
The single male fruit fly was found just 80 metres from the last detection on 10 May. There still has been no larvae, pupae or female flies found to date.
The current restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables remain in place, and trapping and the collection of fallen fruit in some of the controlled area will continue until 1 July.
“We know that fruit flies are not active over the winter months, which means they wouldn’t find their way into a trap. If there are still any out there, they will lay low somewhere warm until spring, which is when we will again step up operational activities.” says Dr Duthie.
“We are considering retaining the Controlled Area Notice, which restricts the movement of fruit and vegetables at a B Zone intensity throughout winter as a precautionary measure to prevent ‘stowaway’ fruit flies from getting out of the area.”
Biosecurity New Zealand will give residents plenty of advanced warning if some controls are to remain.
“Biosecurity New Zealand is very grateful for the support the wider Northcote community affected by the fruit fly detections continue to give us.”
“We know it’s a huge inconvenience but it’s vital that we do this. We don’t want this pest to establish here,” says Dr Duthie.
Detailed maps of the controlled areas and a full description of the boundaries, and full information about the rules are at www.biosecurity.govt.nz/fruitfly
A refresher on the movement controls on fruit and vegetables
If you live in Zone A – don’t move any whole fresh fruit or vegetable matter anywhere outside of the A Zone. You have your own disposal bin to get rid of any produce rubbish. Over winter, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will stop collecting any windfall fruit from your garden for testing and from now you are able to dispose of windfall in your MPI disposal bin.
If you live in the wider Zone B – don’t move any whole fresh fruit or vegetables (except for leafy or root vegetables) outside of the wider Controlled Area boundaries. You are also allowed to dispose of windfall in MPI bins (as you have been all along). Check out the Queensland fruit fly web page for further information.
Timeline: Fruit flies found in Auckland, 2019
February 14 - Single male Queensland fruit fly located in Devonport, on the North Shore. A Controlled Area Notice is put in place (February 15).
February 18 - A different species of fruit fly, a male facialis, discovered in Ōtara, south Auckland. A Controlled Area Notice is put in place (February 19).
February 20 - Another single male Queensland fruit fly found on the North Shore, this time in Northcote. A Controlled Area Notice is put in place (February 21).
February 21 - A second single male facialis detected in Ōtara, only 70 metres from the first find.
February 23 - Another single Queensland fruit fly found in Northcote.
February 28 - A third single male Queensland fruit fly detected in Northcote, 270 metres from where the last was found.
March 4 - A fourth male Queensland fruit fly detected in Northcote, approximately 80 metres from where the last was found.
March 5 - A third single male facialis detected in Ōtara, 630 metres to the North of the last find.
March 10 - A fifth single male Queensland fruit fly is found in Northcote, 60 metres from where the last was found.
March 14 - A sixth single male Queensland fruit fly is found in Northcote 650 metres south of the original find. The operational response was stepped up to include baiting.
March 22 – The Controlled Area Notices for Devonport and Ōtara are lifted after no further fruit flies were detected. Enhanced trapping continues as a precautionary measure.
April 12 – The Controlled Area Notice for Northcote is lifted after no further fruit flies were detected. Enhanced trapping continues as a precautionary measure.
April 25 – A seventh single male Queensland fruit fly was found in Northcote 460 metres away from where the cluster of male flies were found over a three week period (February 20 – March 14). A Controlled Area Notice is put in place (April 26).
May 10 – An eighth single male Queensland fruit fly is found in Northcote 1.6 kilometres away from where the last fly was found. The operational response is stepped up to include baiting.
May 31 – A ninth single male Queensland fruit fly is found in the current controlled area in Northcote, 80 metres from where the last was found.