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Queensland fruit fly outbreak squashed in Perth

An outbreak of the pest Queensland fruit fly has been crushed after a 10-month fight in the western suburbs.

Victory in the backyard battle conducted by Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development staff and local residents has now been confirmed.

Queensland fruit fly is considered a more serious pest than the Mediterranean fruit fly found in WA because it attacks more fruits, vines and commercial and native trees, in addition to fruiting vegetables such as eggplant, tomato, capsicum and chilli.

WA was free of Queensland fruit fly for two years until its discovery in Dalkeith. The pest has been eradicated from several outbreaks in Perth since the 1980s, including outbreaks in Como and Fremantle 2018.

“The successful eradication of Qfly from Dalkeith and its surrounding suburbs is vital in supporting our State’s valuable horticultural industries,” DPIRD chief plant biosecurity officer Sonya Broughton said.

Since discovery of the fly last March, 13,500 homes in suburbs including Dalkeith, Nedlands, Claremont, Shenton Park, Cottesloe and Mt Claremont were told to strip fruit trees and plants, dispose of fruit that could host the insect, and not transport homegrown fruit between neighbourhoods.

About 20,000 baits and traps were used, 32 tonnes of fruit collected and more than 30 million sterile flies released in the campaign.

Dr Broughton said that while the restrictions had been lifted, residents had to maintain garden hygiene and monitor their fruit trees and plants for usual pests.

Report information to 9368 3080 or email padis@dpird.wa.gov.au.

Photo: Removing rotting garden fruit helped eradicate Queensland fruit fly in the western suburbs of Perth (Source: Perth Now).

Acknowledgement: this article was reproduced from a media release by Perth Now.