With so many species of fruit flies in Australia, you would be forgiven for mistaking one fruit fly species for another. Their tiny size doesn’t make identification any easier. When it comes to identifying Queensland fruit flies, the following are some distinguishing characteristics:
- Distinctive yellow oval markings on reddish-brown or ochre bodies
- Their maggots resemble termites and are around 1cm long
- Adult Queensland fruit flies are around 6-8 mm long
- They have three body segments, wings and 6 legs
If you think your home might have Queensland fruit flies, read our expert guide for proper identification, eradication and prevention of these obnoxious pests.
Eradication of Queensland Fruit Fly
Aside from contacting professional pest control, which is always highly recommended, you can do your part to eradicate Queensland fruit flies by:
- Removing unwanted fruit and vegetables
- Collecting and destroying any rotting or unwanted host produce
- Avoiding untreated produce being put in your compost or worm farm
Preventing Queensland Fruit Fly
Just like with other pests, there are always preventive measures you can take to help reduce and even stop these flies.
Traps use an attractant, like pheromones, food scents or visual cues to trap Queensland fruit flies into a container. Once captured, the flies are unable to escape and are either drowned in a liquid or killed by an insecticide. Generally, traps are not recommended as a long-term preventive measure as they only capture some of the adult flies. This leaves other flies free to infest and damage your crops.
Exclusion is a preventative measure that uses physical barriers to prevent female fruit flies from reaching your fruit and vegetables. It is the female that is responsible for laying the eggs. These physical barriers can include nets, insect gauze, bags and sleeves.
Queensland fruit fly infestations, including all other fruit fly infestations might be prevented by picking your fruit and vegetables early. You can also get an early harvest by planting early fruiting varieties that crop before fruit fly populations increase.
When you prune your fruit trees to a manageable size, it will make it easier to harvest fruit and implement fruit fly control methods, such as cover spraying.
Cover spraying is an effective control method that kills adult fruit flies on contact and destroys their eggs and maggots within fruit. These sprays can be applied to foliage and developing fruit in your yard.
Baits are commonly sprayed onto the foliage, trunks of trees, and plants. Both male and female fruit flies are attracted to these baits. Upon coming into contact with the baits, the flies are poisoned.
Garden hygiene is vital as it may help prevent fruit fly eggs and maggots from developing in your yard. As with so many other pests, fruit flies thrive in dirty environments. Be sure to practice good hygiene including, removing scraps of food and liquid lying around, washing, securing and emptying rubbish bins regularly. In addition, don’t forget to discard rotting fruit and vegetables immediately.
If you suspect that your home has Queensland fruit flies, get our experts to come out and complete an assessment to create a proper treatment plan. Contact AGJ Pest Management today.