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Fruit fly in Auckland – Situation update 19 July 2019

Date: 19 July 2019


There has been no let-up in Biosecurity New Zealand’s response to the recent fruit fly finds in the Northcote area, with restrictions remaining in place to contain the pest.

Since 26 April, an area of Northcote has been under a Controlled Area Notice. This restricts 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 restrictions, a network of fruit fly surveillance traps which attract male fruit flies have remained in the area over winter and are regularly checked.

“It is that continued vigilance that led to the discovery of another single male fruit fly on 15 July in a trap in the current controlled area, 350 metres from where the last was found on 31 May,” says Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Dr Catherine Duthie.

“We cannot afford to take our foot off the pedal. We have found 10 of these flies in the Northcote area since February, and while we still haven’t found any evidence of larvae, pupae, eggs or female flies, the continued finds indicate that Queensland fruit flies remain in the area, albeit at very low levels.”

An established population of the flies could be devastating to New Zealand's multi-billion dollar horticulture industry.

“Once we start heading out of winter, we will be looking at stepping up again, with the focus on maintaining controls and continuing with baiting and more intensive trapping,” says Dr Duthie.

“Biosecurity New Zealand understands that this response is a significant inconvenience for those living and working in the controlled area and we are so grateful for your continued support over the many months these restrictions have been in place.”

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

A refresher on the movement controls on fruit and vegetables

If you live in the wider Zone B – please don’t move any locally produced whole fresh fruit or vegetables (except for leafy or root veges) outside of the wider Controlled Area boundaries. You are also allowed to dispose of windfall in MPI bins (as you have been all along).

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.

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.

[ENDS]


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