L a n d L e a r n : Queensland Fruit Fly - fact sheet

Image: : Logo - defend your country, be a fruit fly fighter

image: : two fruit fly on a matchstick to demonstrate size of fruit fly

image: : Fruit fly larvae in an orange
Fruit fly larvae in an orange

Queensland Fruit Fly Fact Sheet

What is it?
The adult Queensland Fruit Fly is only about 7 mm long and reddish brown with yellow markings. However, it is recognised as one of the world's worst fruit pests - it could cost fruit growers more than $100 million each year! Adult fruit flies lay their eggs in ripe fruit, maggots then hatch from the eggs and tunnel through the flesh of the fruit turning it into a brown, filthy pulp. This means that the fruit is inedible. It lowers the profit farmers can make from their fruit, prevents the sale of fruit to some interstate and overseas markets, and can result in loss of jobs in the community.

Where is it found?
Queensland Fruit Fly is an Australian native insect, found in eastern Australia in coastal districts from northern Queensland to eastern Victoria, and in inland areas of Queensland and northern New South Wales. However, when they are found in fruit production areas they have devastating effects. In Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia a Tri-State Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone has been set up to protect fruit production areas. Activities are conducted within this area to stop the spread of fruit fly.

How can I help?
If you have fruit trees in your backyard and live within the fruit fly exclusion zone:

» Prune your fruit trees regularly, keeping the tops of the trees to a manageable height making fruit picking easier;
» Remove any ripe fruit from fruit trees before it has a chance to fall to the ground;
» If fruit does fall to the ground, collect it immediately and place it into a black plastic bag and leave in the sun for 3-7 days to kill any maggots in the fruit.

Map: displaying fruit fly exclusion zone in SA, NSW and VictoriaIf you find Queensland Fruit Fly maggots in your fruit report it immediately to the Department of Primary Industries on 136 186.

Do not take fruit into the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone. These areas can be identified by signs on the side of the road.




More information:
» www.dpi.vic.gov.au > Agriculture and Food > Crops Pastures and Weeds > Pests and diseases > Queensland Fruit Fly
» www.dpi.nsw.gov.au > Agriculture > Horticulture > Pests, diseases and disorders > Queensland Fruit Fly
» www.dpi.vic.gov.au and search for Queensland Fruit Fly
LandLearn is currently developing a curriculum resource package about Queensland Fruit Fly and its impact, and individual's responsibilities.

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