Fruit Fly Detection in Auckland

Fruit Fly Detection in Auckland

Updates on the fruit fly situation can be found on our Hot Topics page.

Single male Queensland Fruit fly detected in Auckland

 15 February 2019

This afternoon Biosecurity New Zealand and Government Industry Agreement (GIA) partners in the tomato, kiwifruit, pipfruit, summerfruit, avocado and vegetable sectors have announced an investigation is underway after a single male Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) was found in a surveillance trap in Devonport, Auckland. You can read the  press releases below.

TomatoesNZ is part of the response governance group leading the investigation along with other horticultural industry groups.  We will be working to ensure any impact on the industry is minimised. 

It is important to note that the find does not mean New Zealand has an outbreak of fruit fly. QFF has been detected six times before in northern New Zealand – in Whangarei and in Auckland. Of these detections, only one, in Auckland in 2015, turned out to be a part of a wider breeding population and this was successfully eradicated.

The most likely way that fruit flies can arrive in New Zealand is in fresh fruit and vegetables. Be vigilant and keep watch. While it may be possible to find on plants if present, a better option is to look out for any larvae in fruit. Report anything of concern to the pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66.

Auckland fruit fly investigation – controls on produce movements now in place

15th February 2019, 6:20pm

Biosecurity New Zealand has now placed legal controls on the movement of fruit and vegetables in the Auckland suburb of Devonport.

The move follows the detection of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the area.

A detailed map of the Controlled Area and a full description of the boundaries and rules concerned is at biosecurity.govt.nz/fruitfly

The Controlled Area has two zones – A and B. No whole fresh fruit and vegetables (except for leafy vegetable, root vegetables) can be moved outside of Zone A. This applies to all this produce regardless of where it was purchased or grown. The restrictions for Zone B only apply to fruit and vegetables grown within the Zone B area. These cannot be moved out of the Controlled Area.

 “These legal controls are an important precaution while we investigate whether there are any further fruit flies present,” Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Dr Catherine Duthie says.

 “Should there be any more flies out there, this will help prevent their spread out of the area.

 “We are working closely with our Government Industry Agreement partners in the horticultural industry. They appreciate this will be inconvenient for the many people living in and around the Controlled Area, but compliance with these restrictions is a critical precaution to protect our horticultural industries, home gardens and our New Zealand way of life.

 “It is likely the restrictions will be in place for at least a couple of weeks.”

Biosecurity New Zealand personnel are busy in the field today extending the trapping network and distributing information to households in the area. In addition, road signs will soon be visible warning people of the restrictions. 

A programme of advertising starts in print, radio and digital media tomorrow.

Please use MPI Media phone: 029 894 0328

Report suspected finds of the Queensland fruit fly to MPI’s Pest and Diseases Hotline 0800 80 99 66.

 

Auckland fruit fly find under investigation

 15 February 2019, 12:00pm

Biosecurity New Zealand is investigating a find of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Devonport. 

The fly was collected from a fruit fly trap and formally identified on the afternoon of 14 February.

Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Dr Catherine Duthie says the find does not mean New Zealand has an outbreak of fruit fly.

“The Queensland fruit fly has been detected six times before in northern New Zealand – in Whangarei and in Auckland. Of these detections, only one, in Auckland in 2015, turned out to be a part of a wider breeding population and this was successfully eradicated by Biosecurity New Zealand.

Dr Duthie says the team has responded swiftly and field crews are starting work today setting additional fruit fly lure traps to determine if other flies are present in the area.

“It is vital to find out if this insect is a solitary find or if there is a wider population in Auckland that will need to be destroyed.

“If it established here, the Queensland fruit fly could have serious consequences for New Zealand’s horticultural industry. It can damage a wide range of fruit and vegetables and could lead to restrictions on trade in some of our horticultural exports.”

Biosecurity New Zealand is working closely with international trading partners and GIA partners in the horticultural industry to minimise the risk to New Zealand growers and exporters. 

As a precautionary measure, restrictions will be soon be put in place on the movement of fruit and vegetables out of the area. Instructions to the public about these controls and the exact area affected will be issued shortly. 

A brochure with information about the fruit fly and controls will go to homes in the area later today.

“We will be working closely with the local community as we have found from past experience that public support is vital to success.

“In the meantime we ask people who live in Devonport not to move any fruit or vegetables from their homes,” Dr Duthie says.

“You may notice increased activity in the neighbourhood as we go about inspections and trapping. Our inspectors will seek permission to investigate fruit trees on your property if required.”

The most likely way that fruit flies can arrive in New Zealand is in fresh fruit and vegetables.

Biosecurity New Zealand has strict requirements on the importation of fruit and vegetables to minimise this risk. Air and sea passengers are prohibited from bringing fresh fruit and vegetables into the country. Biosecurity New Zealand has to date been highly successful in keeping this insect threat out of New Zealand crops.

“This latest find demonstrates the benefit and effectiveness of MPI’s lure-based surveillance trapping network and the biosecurity system.  The network involves some 7500 traps set nationwide and checked regularly,” Dr Duthie says. 

By setting traps for these pest insects, we are able to find them early, have assurance about exactly where the problem is located and respond faster and more effectively where finds are made.

Information about the Queensland fruit fly is on the MPI biosecurity website at: http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests/queensland-fruit-fly

 For further information, contact:

MPI Mediaphone 029 8940328