Almost a month has passed since the detection of a tenth single male Queensland fruit fly in Northcote. While there has been no sign of the pest since, Biosecurity New Zealand has announced that it's again stepping up efforts against the fly.
Its current focus is to maintain controls, and it is also resuming baiting and more intensive trapping.
Northcote has been under a Controlled Area Notice since 26 April. This notice restricted the movement of certain fruits and vegetables out of controlled areas.
In this way, the biosecurity team hoped 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 have remained in the area over winter; these attract male fruit flies and the government team regularly checked them.
“We won’t be relaxing our efforts until we are absolutely confident we are rid of these flies ... while we still haven’t found any evidence 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,” says Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Dr. Catherine Duthie.
She adds: “It’s really important that we do this to protect our 4th largest export industry – horticulture, which is worth NZ$6 billion to our economy, as well as potentially significant disruption to people with fruit trees in their gardens.”
Biosecurity New Zealand says that they'll give people in Northcote advanced notice before placing bait on their property.
It adds that the team will also 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