31 Jan 2014

Fruit fly vigilance continues

6:44 am on 31 January 2014

Whangarei cricket fans living close to the site of a Queensland fruit fly discovery are being told to leave fruit at home when they attend the warm-up match between India and New Zealand starting on Sunday.

The 272 lure traps placed inside a 1.5 kilometre circle from where a single male fruit fly was found last week, have failed to yield any more specimens.

But teams from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) continue to scour gardens, rubbish bins, the contents of special fruit disposal bins and home gardens for any sign of the insect.

Parents living inside the designated control zones around the discovery site are being told they can include fruit in school lunch boxes only if they have cut it open first to check it is free of bugs.

Any control zone residents intending to go to Whangarei's Cobham Oval to watch the precursor match to the next two-test series between the Black Caps and India are being told to leave any fruit inside that zone.

MPI compliance head Andrew Coleman says residents have been great at heeding the restrictions and have been using the hundreds of disposal bins the ministry has put inside zones A and B.

He says up to 180kg of fruit and vegetables is being taken out of those bins each day which shows that the community is engaged.

Mr Coleman says people are still asking questions of officers in the field and people understand the importance of protecting New Zealand for biosecurity reasons.

The controls are likely to be in place until 8 February.