As the end of winter nears, Biosecurity New Zealand’s fruit fly response in the Northcote area is about to be stepped up again with the focus on maintaining controls and resuming baiting and more intensive trapping.
An area of Northcote has been under a Controlled Area Notice since 26 April, restricting the movement of certain fruits and vegetables out of controlled areas to help prevent the spread of any fruit flies still in the area.
Along with the continued movement restrictions, a network of fruit fly surveillance traps which attract male fruit flies have remained in the area over winter and were regularly checked, with the last single male fruit fly detected in the current controlled area on 15 July.
“We signalled at the start of winter that we would be stepping up again about now,” says Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Dr Catherine Duthie.
The ministry would not relax its efforts “until it is absolutely confident we are rid of these flies”.
Ten flies have been found in the Northcote area since February and while no evidence has been found of larvae, pupae, eggs or female flies, the continued finds indicate that Queensland fruit flies could remain in the area, “albeit at very low levels.”
“It’s really important that we do this to protect our 4th largest export industry – horticulture, which is worth $6 billion to our economy, as well as potentially significant disruption to people with fruit trees in their gardens,” says Dr Duthie.
People in Northcote will be given advanced notice if bait is to be placed in their property, and we will provide them with detailed information about the bait and what’s happening.
Detailed maps of the controlled areas and a full description of the boundaries, and full information about the rules are online at www.biosecurity.govt.nz/fruitfly
More can be found out here.
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.
July 15 – A tenth single male Queensland fruit fly is found in the current controlled area in Northcote, 350 metres from where the last was found.
Source: Biosecurity New Zealand
Photo credit: James Niland