BIOSECURITY SA has declared a fruit fly outbreak at Ottoway, near Port Adelaide, in Adelaide’s western suburbs.
This is South Australia’s second outbreak this year, following detection of fruit fly at nearby suburban Ethelton last week (Monday 23 January 2012).
The second outbreak was confirmed following detection of multiple Mediterranean fruit fly larvae yesterday (Tuesday) in a peach tree at a property in Ottoway. A 1.5 kilometre quarantine area has been declared around the detection site. The eradication response program will continue for 10 to 12 weeks after the last “wild” flies or infestations are found, subject to weather conditions.
The quarantine area includes the suburbs of Ottoway, Gillman, Wingfield, Athol Park, Pennington and Rosewater. All affected residents will shortly receive a leaflet confirming their property is within the quarantine area. Some supplementary fruit fly traps have already been installed.
Biosecurity SA’s Manager Plant and Food Standards, Geoff Raven, said this was a separate incursion of fruit fly larvae and is unrelated to the Ethelton outbreak declared last week.
“It is extremely disappointing to declare a second fruit fly outbreak,” Mr Raven said. “At this time it is particularly important people understand their responsibilities in helping keep South Australia fruit fly free and comply with regulations.”
“People within the quarantine zones must not remove fresh fruit, fruiting vegetables or garden waste from their properties, or compost fruit and vegetables, during the eradication program. However, fruit and vegetable waste can be placed in green bins as usual.
“The member of the public who reported the suspect fruit to the Fruit Fly Hotline has done the right thing and must be praised for their vigilance and action. This has enabled Biosecurity SA to act quickly.”
Mr Raven said an organic bait spotting program would be undertaken until no further wild fruit flies were detected.
“Home grown fruit and fruiting vegetables can only be removed from the quarantine area if it has been cooked or processed,” he said. “This includes tomatoes, capsicums, chillies, eggplant, stone fruits, pome fruits, citrus, loquats and table grapes. These are potential hosts for the pest and the movement of fruit and vegetables during the quarantine period could start new outbreaks.”
South Australia is fruit fly free and an outbreak is usually sparked by people travelling with maggot-infested, fresh produce from interstate. The end of the school holiday period spells danger time for fruit fly because of increased travel patterns.
“If fruit fly becomes established in South Australia, this could jeopardise markets for our $600 million fresh fruit and vegetable industry,” Mr Raven said.
“By helping keep SA fruit fly free you are also protecting your own backyard and enjoying home grown fruit that does not have fruit fly maggots in it; a luxury other states would envy.”
Householders and property owners in the quarantine zone are asked to provide Biosecurity SA’s fruit fly eradication teams with access to their properties, to check their backyard fruit and vegetables.
Any maggots found in fruit or vegetables can be reported to the 24-hour Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010.