Fresh fruit fly outbreak in west

Fresh fruit fly outbreak in west

Horticulture
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A FRUIT fly outbreak has been declared at Thevenard on the West Coast, just months after the completion of a successful eradication program in the region.

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A FRUIT fly outbreak has been declared at Thevenard on the West Coast, just months after the completion of a successful eradication program in the region.

An outbreak of Mediterranean fruit fly Med-fly has been declared following the detection of larvae.

PIRSA Biosecurity SA executive director Will Zacharin said the new outbreak is separate to the current outbreak in nearby Ceduna, which has now been extended due to further larval detections.

An eradication operation for a Med-fly outbreak was successfully completed in November.

A 1.5 kilometre outbreak area has been established around the detection point and quarantine restrictions apply within the Thevenard township.

At this stage, if no further wild flies or larvae are detected it is anticipated the quarantine in both Thevenard and Ceduna will remain in place until at least April 13.

The new larval detection within the Ceduna outbreak area will also see the resumption of organic bait spotting operations in the 1.5km outbreak zone.

Mr Zacharin said PIRSA had begun an eradication program aimed at eliminating any fruit flies from the outbreak area and nearby surrounds.

"Residents and businesses within this new Thevenard outbreak area will be receiving information from PIRSA about the outbreak and associated quarantine, detailing what part they can play in preventing its spread," he said.

"An organic bait spotting program will be undertaken with staff also concentrating on the removal of fallen fruit from properties within the 1.5 km outbreak area.

"Mediterranean fruit fly doesn't exist in SA and can only be brought into our state from infested fruit originating from WA.

"This has no impact on the state's fruit fly free status for the rest of the state and we are liaising with the horticultural industry on the outbreak and our eradication campaign."

Mr Zacharin said the new Med-fly outbreak at Thevenard, along with the ongoing response at Ceduna and the Queensland fruit fly (Q-fly) response at Loxton, showed the importance for travellers visiting or returning to SA during the Australia Day long weekend to do the right thing and not to bring uncertified fresh produce into the state with them, otherwise they would pay the penalty.

"With the new zero tolerance measures now in place at the Yamba Quarantine Station or at random roadblocks, anyone caught with illegal fresh fruit and fruiting vegetables face fines and penalties of up to $100,000," he said.

"There are ample reminders on signs as travellers head into quarantine zone as well as roadside bins to relinquish produce.

“So Eat It, Bin It or risk a fine!"

Residents and businesses inside the quarantine area can help eliminate fruit fly by practising a few simple measures, including:

  • do not give away or move any fruit or fruiting vegetables, including tomatoes, capsicums, chillies and eggplants unless cooked or preserved;
  • do not leave fruit or fruiting vegetables lying on the ground;
  • do not compost any fruit or fruiting vegetables, including those bought from a shop;
  • arrangements will be made for the management of green waste within the Outbreak Area where a green bin service does not apply;
  • report any maggots found in fruit or fruiting vegetables immediately to the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010;
  • cook or preserve excess fruit and fruiting vegetables. 
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