Sunday, 13 March 2016

Controlling Fruit Fly and how to make a Fruit Fly trap

Bactrocera tryoni or Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) may attack a range of fruits and fruiting vegetables, leaving them inedible If sufficiently warm weather persists into autumn or winter, fruit flies can continue through their life cycle providing that a suitable host fruit or fruiting vegetable is available.

Below are photos of fruit fly and lavae. 
The following information is from the Commonwealth Government's Advice for Home Gardeners in Australia website . To report to DEPI Victoria call the Queensland fruit fly hotline (Mildura) 50 514 618 or email  

The tiny thrip-like flies that can be often seen on overripe fruit are Vinegar Flies and usually don’t do extensive harm.

To eradicate and manage fruit fly the following is recommended:

Exclusion, the use of physical barriers to stop female QFF from reaching your fruit. Barriers include:

Nets: mosquito nets, over PVC tubes or stakes, over and around the trees or vegetables. An outdoor gazebo could be used as the zipper allows easy access to regularly inspect trees and harvest fruit as it ripens. Whatever you use, all nets must be either secured around the trunk base or to the ground.

Bags and sleeves: Place bags and sleeves over the fruit you want to keep. Remove any flowers or developing fruit from the plant that are not covered by a barrier. Secure bags and sleeves to the plant with tie wire, clothes pegs or string. Nets, bags and sleeves are generally available from your local chemical or home garden retailer.

Garden hygiene: Pick and use any fruit as it ripens, don't leave it on the plant for fruit flies to attack. Collect and destroy any rotting or unwanted host fruit, whether it is on the ground or still on the plant.

Unwanted fruit can be microwaved to kill any maggots inside prior to being disposed of. Alternatively, place the fruit in a plastic bag, seal the bag and leave it in the sun for 5­7 days, or place it in a freezer for two days. The bagged fruit can then be discarded in your rubbish bin. Do not add unwanted fruit to your compost or worm farm, or put it directly into your rubbish.

Traps and attractants are designed to lure and kill fruit flies. They can be bought from hardware, nursery and on-line suppliers. Place traps on host trees and other sites around the garden to draw fruit flies away from your fruit and vegetables.

Make your own traps
Using an empty soft­drink bottle (with lid). Please note that these traps may attract all insects ­ both pests and beneficials. Cut three holes in the bottle about the size of a 10 cent piece, 10 centimetres from the top. Add the bait mixture: one cup of 100 per cent fruit juice (including pulp) and one tablespoon of cloudy ammonia (or wheelie bin cleaner) available from supermarkets and hardware stores. Tie a string around the neck of the bottle and hang it from the tree in the shade 1­1.5 metres from ground. The mixture can last up to three weeks but should be changed weekly for best effect.

Fruit fly help for seniors. If you need help cleaning up around your garden put your name into the WCRC before the end of March. Volunteers are available.