Two more fruit flies, including a dead one, have been found in a central Auckland suburb

February 21, 2015 2:46 pm

Two more fruit flies, including a dead one, have been found in a central suburb – bringing the total to three.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today confirmed an isolated population of the Queensland fruit fly was found.
A Grey Lynn resident found a single fly in a lemon tree on his property, captured it and reported it to the ministry.
“The
fly was formally identified as a recently-emerged un-mated female adult
fruit fly. This is the only fly that has been found, over and above the
initial trapped fly found earlier this week,” MPI said in a statement.

 A fruit fly warning sign on the corner of Sandringham Road and Royal Terrace. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Andrew
Coleman, the ministry’s chief operations officer, said the resident who
captured and reported the fly has allowed MPI to act swiftly to scope
the problem.

“Our investigators immediately visited the property concerned
where they found lemons and plums containing Queensland fruit fly
larvae,” Mr Coleman said.
“In total, at close of operations last
night, MPI confirmed that one fly, 39 larvae and one pupa had been found
at the property.”
The Ministry said it and its response
partners, including PipfruitNZ, were now deploying significant resources
to respond to the detection.
“We have every confidence that
treatment will quickly and effectively eradicate this population. We
have successfully eradicated previous incursions of fruit fly – notably
the Mediterranean fruit fly in Auckland in 1996,” Mr Coleman said.
He
said initial treatment would involve placing bait in fruiting trees to
attract and kill female fruit flies. The bait will be applied high up in
trees and plants, away from children or pets.
“A second line of
treatment will involve some targeted ground-based spraying of areas
under fruiting trees where positive finds have been made. This involves
using an insecticide that is safe for use in residential areas and has
been proven to do no harm to people or animals such as family pets or
livestock.”
He said no use of aerial spraying would be needed.
MPI
said existing controls on fruit and vegetable movements remained
largely the same with the previously defined “wider controlled area”
unchanged.
“The only change is to the scale of the higher-risk
Zone A which has been slightly extended. This will be communicated to
the Auckland public as soon as possible,” the Ministry said.
Whole fresh fruit and vegetables, except for leafy vegetables and root vegetables, cannot be moved outside of the defined area.
An
additional export restriction zone now extended for 3.5km from the
location of the last detection. Produce susceptible to fruit fly grown
within this zone cannot be exported, MPI said.
New Zealand markets for horticultural produce were also told about the situation.
Mr Coleman said since Tuesday, MPI had introduced “more stringent risk assessment” of cargo, craft, mail and passengers.
International air passengers’ luggage was now going through x-rays and an MPI detector dog was screening luggage.
“This
could mean some minor inconvenience for inbound passengers, but is
necessary given the risk to New Zealand,” MPI said. “If it became
established here, the Queensland fruit fly could have serious
consequences for New Zealand’s horticultural industry. It can damage a
wide range of fruit and vegetables and could lead to restrictions on
trade in some of our horticultural exports. It can also have impacts on
home gardens.”
The discovery of more Queensland fruit flies
inside an already-established protection zone is “very concerning” but
not unexpected, Horticulture New Zealand says.
The new find was less than 200m from where the first fruit fly was found and was almost certainly from the same source.
“We
are confident this localised detection will be swiftly and effectively
eradicated,” said Julian Raine, Horticulture New Zealand president.
The group welcomed “improvements” in border controls the Ministry for Primary Industries announced today.
“That’s going to provide a lot of confidence to our members,” Mr Raine said.
His
organisation said the entire New Zealand horticulture industry owed a
deep debt of gratitude to residents of the affected Grey Lynn areas.
“We can’t thank these people enough for their concern and their vigilance,” Mr Raine said.
All
efforts must now be focused on establishing the extent of the
population, containing it and then eradicating it, Horticulture New
Zealand added.

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