May 13 2019

Fruit fly in Auckland - Step-up in response in Northcote

Another Queensland fruit fly has been found within the current Northcote controlled area, bringing the total to eight over the past three and half months.

Biosecurity New Zealand is stepping up it’s on the ground efforts in the suburb, and will begin placing bait on fruit trees to attract and kill adult flies, in particular females.

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, says Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Dr Catherine Duthie.

“While it is concerning there has been another detection, it still doesn’t tell us that there is a breeding population. What it does is raises the potential that Queensland fruit flies remain in the area, albeit at very low levels.”

The latest finds will mean an expansion of the B Zone in Northcote; and the establishment of a new A Zone with a radius of 200m around the new detection, along with the associated restrictions on the movement of fruit, vegetables and green waste. The controlled area of 1.5 km will be expanded toward the west from the latest detection

“Our teams on the ground will continue removing fallen fruit from backyards in the A-zone, and placing bait on fruit trees,” says Dr Duthie.

“The bait is made up of a protein to attract adult fruit flies, and a very low concentration of insecticide to kill the flies. It’s similar to how people bait wasps in their backyards.”

“The baits are toxic to fruit flies. We have taken every precaution to make sure the baits are safe around people and animals.”

“We will give people living in the area at least 24 hours’ notice that we will place bait in their property and will provide them with detailed information about our programme.”

“Biosecurity New Zealand is very grateful for the support all communities affected by the fruit fly detections continue to give us.”

“We know it’s a huge inconvenience but it’s vital for our horticultural industries 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

Details about the Controlled Area Notice:

No fruit and vegetables (other than leafy or root vegetables and cooked, processed, preserved, dried, frozen and canned fruit) can be moved from Zone A of the controlled area.

In addition, compost and green waste from gardens cannot be moved out of this Zone.

Residents in the A Zone are asked to avoid composting fruits and vegetables. For disposing of fruit and vegetable waste, they are encouraged to use a sink waste disposal unit if possible or bins provided by Biosecurity New Zealand. These bins will be delivered shortly and residents advised of their location.

For the B Zone – no fruit and vegetables grown in the Zone can be moved out of the controlled area. Produce that has been sourced commercially from outside the area can be moved.

Please see MPI's Queensland fruit fly page for further information.