News

Fruit fly response efforts stepped up as Rosewater outbreak declared

Friday 27 March 2020

A new Mediterranean fruit fly outbreak in metropolitan Adelaide has been declared and eradication efforts boosted, following the detection of fruit flies in the Rosewater area.


This outbreak is separate but adjacent to the existing outbreak areas at Angle Park, Blair Athol and Croydon Park, and is likely to be related to these.

The outbreak was declared on Tuesday, 24 March and an eradication program has now commenced to eliminate any fruit flies from the outbreak area and surrounds, ensuring this damaging plant pest does not spread.

PIRSA Executive Director of Biosecurity Nathan Rhodes said PIRSA has a proven track record when it comes to eradicating fruit fly incursions.

"We take zero chances when it comes to fruit fly and have a 100% success rate in eradicating these incursions, which do not affect the state's wider fruit fly free status," he said.

"However with these four metropolitan outbreaks now occurring amid the COVID-19 pandemic, PIRSA has adjusted its eradication program to apply the appropriate social distancing measures and comply with restrictions on community movements, while also aiming to ensure the complete eradication of Mediterranean fruit fly in the outbreak areas.

"Baiting operations will continue with social distancing procedures in mind.

"Properties in the Rosewater outbreak area, along with those in the Angle Park and Croydon Park outbreak areas identified with fruit trees will be baited in front yards by PIRSA staff who will be easily identified by their bright orange overalls."

"Householders in the affected suburbs are asked to strip their trees of fruit and to ensure any fruit debris on the ground is cleaned up and disposed of in a secure bin or by PIRSA staff.

"In any fruit fly eradication response, the public always plays a key role but now more than ever we need all residents in the outbreak areas to do their bit to ensure these Mediterranean fruit fly outbreaks are eradicated."

What residents can do:

  • Picking up all fallen and over ripe fruit in your backyard as well as remove any remaining fruit from fruit trees. This fruit can be disposed of in your green waste bin or alternatively ring the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010 to arrange pick up.
  • If you notice maggots in your home grown fruit and vegetables, seal it in an airtight container and call the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010.
  • Residents within the outbreak areas are also reminded not to move any homegrown fruit or fruiting vegetables within the 1.5 km outbreak area, including sharing with family and friends, to reduce the risk of potential spread.

Mr Rhodes said residents located in the 7.5km suspension area for all four outbreaks also need to maintain vigilance against fruit flies, also ensure home-grown fruit and vegetables are not moved out of the area and regularly pick up any fallen fruit.

"Unfortunately fallen fruit can allow fruit flies to reproduce," he said. "Cleaning up gardens following the fruit season is an important measure against the pest so if you haven't got around to doing it yet, now is the ideal time to do it.

"PIRSA will also be continuing our program of random roadblocks under the zero tolerance policy, including at Blanchetown, to ensure fruit from Adelaide is not taken into the Riverland fruit growing area. A heavy penalty will be imposed on any traveller taking fruit into the pest free area."

Suburbs within the Rosewater outbreak area include: Alberton, Albert Park, Cheltenham, Gillman, Hendon, Ottoway, Pennington, Port Adelaide, Queenstown, Rosewater and Royal Park.

At this stage, if no further wild flies or larvae are detected, it is anticipated the quarantine zone in Rosewater will be lifted on 18 December 2020.

To see if you are affected and to view more information, including detailed maps and further advice on what you can do to help successfully remove this pest visit pir.sa.gov.au/fruitfly

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