13 May 2012

Fruit fly target zones saturated with baited traps

6:06 am on 13 May 2012

Saturation coverage with traps has now been completed in parts of the Auckland suburb of Avondale but so far no other Queensland fruit fly has been detected.

The discovery of a single male fruit fly in a surveillance trap on Tuesday sparked a biosecurity alert and the imposition of an exclusion zone in Avondale restricting the movement of fruit and vegetables.

The Queensland fruit fly is regarded as a highly destructive horticulture pest.

Seventy-one traps have been installed in an inner zone with a radius of 200 metres out from the initial find; in that zone, fruit and vegetables are not be moved off properties at all.

Surveillance teams have been placing extra traps in a wider zone with a radius of 1.5km centred on Wolverton Rd, Avondale. Up to 280 traps may eventually be placed in the zone.

Each trap has a lure that can attract adult fruit flies from about 400 metres.

The Primary Industries Ministry says ripe fruit that has fallen or been shaken from trees is also being tested in laboratories for signs of flies.

A total of 54 ministry staff are visiting the 5545 homes and businesses in the restricted zones and leaving information pamphlets with them in order to raise awareness.

The ministry says all key trading partners have now been advised of the discovery and so far there has been no adverse reaction.