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Fruit fly in Auckland – situation update 21 February 2019

Single male fruit flies have been found in surveillance traps in Devonport, Northcote, and Ōtara.

On Auckland’s North Shore, Biosecurity New Zealand is investigating finds of single male Queensland fruit flies (QFF) in surveillance traps in the Auckland suburbs of Devonport and Northcote.

The flies were collected from fruit fly traps and formally identified on the afternoon of 14 February (Devonport) and 20 February (Northcote). A Controlled Area Notice (CAN) has been issued for both suburbs.

At the moment, these are 2 single males found quite some distance apart, and there’s no evidence of a breeding population.

The Queensland fruit fly has been detected before in the upper North Island in the past decade. Biosecurity New Zealand's staff are well practised in dealing with this situation. Since the fruit fly was found, we've been working to locate any other possible fruit flies.

If it established here, the Queensland fruit fly could seriously harm the country's fruit and vegetable crops and affect exports of some produce. If a breeding population is found, work will progress to eradicate it.

Biosecurity New Zealand is also investigating the discovery of another type of fruit fly in a different Auckland suburb. On 19 February 2019, we found a single male Bactrocera facialis fruit fly (Facialis fruit fly, FFF) in a surveillance trap in Ōtara, Auckland.

To manage the fruit fly that has been found, an area of Ōtara has been put under a CAN. This was effective from 19 February 2019. This restricts the movement of certain fruit and vegetables out of the Controlled Area to help prevent the spread of any fruit flies if any are present.

Find out about the Controlled Area and movement controls. You can download the CANs for Devonport, Northcote and Ōtara from the MPI website:

https://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/protection-and-response/responding/alerts/fruit-flies/

If there are no further detections, the operations in each area are expected to end 14 days after the last detection.

The fruit fly response at a glance:

Devonport

• No new Queensland fruit flies have been found to date.

• 90 additional traps have now been deployed in Zone A and 80 traps have been deployed in Zone B. Traps in Zone A will be inspected daily and those in Zone B will be inspected every three days.

• Bin distribution is now complete with 144 bins between Zones A and B. We started collecting fruit to take to the lab on 19 February in the A Zone, and 9.94kg of fruit is being processed at Biosecurity New Zealand’s field laboratory.

Northcote

• Field teams are expanding the network of fruit fly traps in the area. If fruit flies are present, these traps will catch them.

• Traps will be placed in home gardens where fruit fly host plants (for example fruit trees) are found. These will be installed in the priority part of the suburb which is within 200m of where the fruit fly was trapped (this is known as Zone A).

• Further traps will be added to a wider area extending out to 1.5 km from where the fly was found. To date, 124 traps have been deployed in the A Zone.

• Staff are visiting homes in Zone A, checking for fruit trees, vegetable gardens and compost facilities that could provide suitable habitat for fruit flies. Fruit and vegetable samples will be taken from home gardens to check for fruit fly contamination.

• Field workers are out in force talking to local residents, providing information about the controls and how they can support the response.

Ōtara

• Field crews have set up a field headquarters and placing traps.

• 47 traps have been deployed in Zone A.

• Bin distribution is underway with 177 bins across the A and B Zones. The bins are provided so local people can safely dispose of fruit and vegetable waste.

• Biosecurity New Zealand is busy having leaflets translated into a number of languages including Samoan, Tongan, Chinese, Cook Island Maori, Fijian and Hindi.

What you can do

If you find larvae inside fruit, or believe you have seen a fruit fly, keep hold of it and call 0800 80 99 66.

If you live around Devonport, Ōtara, or Northcote: find out if you're in the Controlled Area. If so, you will need to follow legal restrictions around movement of fruit and vegetables. Remember – if in doubt, don't take it out.

Find out more about the Queensland fruit fly and see photos

Find out about the Facialis fruit fly found in Ōtara


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