Outbreaks of fruit fly reported in South Australia have driven the state government to throw more resources into the Riverland region to fight the harmful insects.
Queensland fruit fly larvae were discovered in a resident's Renmark West backyard and follow two outbreaks found in Renmark West and Monash.
Furthermore, an outbreak of Mediterranean fruit fly has also been declared south of Adelaide in Black Forest, following larval detections in home-grown fruit.
In response, SA authorities have established a 1.5-kilometre radius outbreak zone at both new locations with a 7.5-kilometre suspension area established around the Black Forest area and a 15-kilometre suspension area around the new Renmark West outbreak zone.
Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said more than 70 staff are on the ground in the Riverland responding to the matter.
"We are throwing everything we can at the Riverland fruit fly outbreaks as we recognise the importance of eradicating this pest as fast as possible," he said.
"No stone is being left unturned to protect our $1.3 billion fruit fly vulnerable horticulture industry.
In Renmark West, officers are applying organic bait and are removing fruit from affected properties. Minister Basham said residents and businesses within the affected areas will receive information from the state department about the outbreak and associated quarantine restrictions, detailing what part they can play in preventing the spread of these pests.
Fortunately, he said, the outbreaks have no impact on the fruit fly free status for the rest of the Riverland Pest Free Area or the state.
A dedicated line has been established for industry queries - 1800 255 556.
Residents in the affected outbreak areas can help by:
Allowing easy access to gardens so PIRSA staff can do their work quickly - they'll keep the necessary social distancing.
Picking up all fallen and over ripe fruit in your backyard as well as remove any remaining fruit from fruit trees. This fruit can be disposed of in your green waste bin if in metropolitan Adelaide. For those in the Riverland please contact the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010 for advice on disposal.
Reporting (and sealing in an airtight container) any suspect fruit fly or maggots in home grown fruit and vegetables to the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010.
Not moving home-grown fruit or fruiting vegetables within the 1.5 km outbreak area, including sharing with family and friends, to reduce the risk of potential spread.
At this stage, if no further wild flies or larvae are detected, it is anticipated the outbreak areas will remain in place until:
Black Forest and surrounding areas, as well as all other metropolitan fruit fly outbreak areas until at least April 5, 2021.
Both Renmark West outbreaks until at least April 6, 2021
Monash until at least March 22, 2021.
For more information, including detailed maps of the metropolitan Adelaide and Riverland outbreak areas, quarantine zones and suspension areas visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/fruitfly
Reports of larvae or fruit flies can be made to the Fruit Fly hotline on 1300 666 010.
Photo: Fruit fly (source: The Murray Valley Standard).
Acknowledgement: this article was reproduced from a media release by the Murray Valley Standard.