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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

"We are very grateful for the support residents in Northcote gave us previously and I am confident that support will continue. “

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.

Check out the Queensland fruit fly page for further information.

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.


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