The delivery of new fruit fly traps to homes in our region is a signal to all gardeners and households that it’s time to ramp up the effort in controlling Queensland Fruit Fly.
Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area regional coordinator Deidre Jaensch said an army of representatives from 46 community groups would this weekend (4 and 5 August) begin the delivery of traps ready for spring in urban areas.
“The fly-catch data is showing a reduction in fly numbers in the urban areas that have been mass-trapped,” Ms Jaensch said.
“We’re confident that the trapping, combined with community efforts, are having an impact – but there are still a lot of flies around and we need to keep the effort going,” she said.
“Prevention is the only way and that means we all need to get ready to ramp up the activity in our gardens from now on.”
The GSPFA mass-trapping program targets areas of high density housing where a trap in each backyard intercepts as many flies as possible.
Ms Jaensch said to get the best results, everyone needs to be on-board, and in urban households, that means firstly looking out for the trap and hanging it up when it arrives.
“That doesn’t mean areas outside of the urban areas miss out,” Ms Jaensch said.
“Areas outside of townships are usually larger blocks with more trees and need more than one trap,” she said.
“We have three field officers out every day visiting these areas daily and they’re keen to talk with landowners to discuss what control strategies will work best for their situation.”
Ms Jaensch said data showed the mass trapping campaign over the past 12 months had lowered fly numbers.
“The key has been to start early, in mid-August, and to maintain control until the end of the season and hanging up traps is an important first strike on flies once they become more active as winter ends.”
But Ms Jaensch said trapping was only one of several weapons in a community-wide effort.
“We can’t sugar-coat this message: that to successfully control fruit fly you need to actively manage it on a weekly basis until all the fruit and vegetables are picked,” she said.
“Removing the number of unwanted and unmanaged fruit trees in our region is a crucial step, and that is something we hope the arrival of the traps might prompt people to think about again.
“We’ve so far removed over 2200 fruit trees people no longer want across the Greater Sunraysia Area and we’re still offering that free service to domestic homes in urban and rural areas.
“All the hard work of tending fruit trees needs to start now to avoid the disappointment at Christmas.
“If you are not up for the effort that’s required, we’d love you to get in touch, so we can come and remove the tree and remove the problem, free of charge, for those who are eligible.
“Funding is currently available, but only for a short time, so if people have been thinking about it, they should act now before the funding runs out.”
• Remove all fruit left hanging on tree from autumn e.g. apples, pears, quinces, pomegranates.
• Dispose of fallen fruit like citrus – seal it in a plastic bag and kill any larvae by leaving it in the sun for several days, freeze it for two days or zap it in the microwave.
• Think about how much fruit you need and only keep as many trees as you can manage.
• Prune your trees down to head or chase height. This way you have a greater chance of protecting all the fruit during the season.
• If you haven’t been able to control the fruit fly consider removing the trees.
• Help older family, friends and neighbours to prune or remove trees.
• Contact GSPFA for free removal of unwanted fruit trees from domestic gardens by phoning 5022 0327.
• For more strategies and advice, visit the GSPFA website or like the GSPFA Facebook page.