Prickly invader offering fruit fly haven

Prickly invader offering fruit fly haven

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CONTROL NEEDED: Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board urges landholders to control African boxthorn infestations on their properties and roadside.

CONTROL NEEDED: Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board urges landholders to control African boxthorn infestations on their properties and roadside.

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LANDHOLDERS are being urged to help control African boxthorn infestations on their properties and roadsides to help limit a potential a home for fruit fly, and shelter for foxes and rabbits.

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LANDHOLDERS are being urged to help control African boxthorn infestations on their properties and roadsides to help limit a potential a home for fruit fly, and shelter for foxes and rabbits.

Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board, Murraylands District Manager Kylie Moritz said unchecked infestations could invade cropping areas and bushland, provide shelter for foxes and rabbits and a home for fruit fly.

"A coordinated effort last year controlled African boxthorns from more than 800 kilometres of roadsides and 100km of railway tracks throughout the region.

"We now need to follow up and control any new plants or re-growth.

African boxthorn is a declared pest plant, and landowners are required to take reasonable control measures on their properties and adjoining roadsides under the statutory obligations of the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 (the Act).

Ms Moritz said plants are green and healthy, which was the perfect opportunity for control while the plant is actively growing.

"Herbicide application by foliar spray, or to the freshly cut stump or mechanical removal of the plant with machinery are all successful control techniques.

"African boxthorn is considered a secondary fruit fly host. The small red berries it produces are a welcome home for the devastating invasive fly."

While African boxthorn may not be the first choice of fruit, it can provide a refuge for fruit fly and aid them in persisting long enough in our landscape to invade other fruit crops.

"Landholders can do their part in the fruit fly fight for our region by controlling any African boxthorn plants they find on their property or roadsides," Ms Moritz said.

District officers were keen to work with landowners to develop a plan to manage boxthorn on their property.

"We encourage landholders with boxthorn problems to give us a call and discuss the issue so we can provide advice and expertise to help them get on top of the problem," Ms Moritz.

This program is supported by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board through funding from the landscape levies. Photo caption: Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board urges landholders to control African boxthorn infestations on their properties and roadside.

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