FIELD officers have been positioned across the Goulburn Murray Valley as part of a coordinated approach to protecting the region against Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF).
The deployment of several regional field officers allows for the immediate management of fruit fly hot spots as they occur.
Goulburn Murray Valley regional QFF coordinator Ross Abberfield said the regional QFF trapping program had detected a significant upsurge in fruit fly numbers during December, and indications suggested the increase would continue through January and February.
The officers have been funded through the Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly program and were deployed at the beginning of January 2018.
To prevent townships becoming breeding grounds for fruit fly, anyone who grows fruit trees and vegetables should inspect their ripening produce and correctly dispose of contaminated fruit and vegetables before the larvae turn into breeding adults.
“Any fruit and vegetables in the home garden that has been infested with fruit fly should be destroyed by placing it in the freezer or microwave, or alternatively by placing it in a sealed plastic bag and leaving it in the sun for five to seven days to kill any maggots prior to disposal,” Mr Abberfield said.
“Fruit and vegetables affected by fruit fly should only be disposed of once they have been appropriately treated to ensure the pest is not transferred to another location.”
Home gardeners are asked to apply a range of control methods such as the use of exclusion netting or fruit bagging, traps and insecticide or bait spray where it is considered appropriate.
Property owners with unwanted fruit trees in residential yards have until the end of February to apply to have them removed at no cost through the urban fruit tree removal program.
The program has been extended in response to continued high demand and has helped reduce the spread of fruit fly by eliminating potential breeding grounds found in unattended fruit trees and rotten fruit.
The free program is available in the Shires of Campaspe, Greater Shepparton, Moira and Strathbogie.
For more information, visit gmv-qldfruitfly.com.au or contact your council’s customer service centre.