Fruit Flies are one of the most notorious and obnoxious of all pests in Australia. They can lay eggs in more than a hundred different kinds of fruit, and the maggots feast on the ripening fruit rendering it inedible. They are of significant concern to the entire Australian horticultural industry because they have the capacity to easily cause millions of dollars of damages through lost harvest. In this article, we will discuss how to identify Queensland fruit flies, their maggots, and what to do if you do encounter this species of pest. If you encounter exotic fruit flies, it is an even bigger problem, and you should notify your local department of agriculture immediately.
Identifying a Queensland Fruit Fly
Adult fruit flies are in the realm of 5-8mm in length and can be differentiated from other flies by distinctive yellow oval markings on reddish brown or ochre bodies. Their maggots are typically the easiest to identify as white blobs around 1cm long found in ripe fruit, looking somewhat like a termite. If you have found maggots, seal the fruit in a plastic bag immediately and follow the steps outlined below to dispose of them without risk of spreading their blight. The eggs are laid in ripe fruit and the maggots then feast on it, usually emerging once the ripe fruit has fallen to the ground. If this is happening in your property, this fallen fruit will also attract other pests likes rodents and cockroaches.
Where There is Smoke, There is Fire
If you encounter fruit flies in imported fruit, it is necessary to inform the authorities and keep the sample isolated unless informed otherwise by the authority. If you have encountered these species in locally produced fruit, it is also important to notify the producer, retailer and dispose of the infected fruit responsibly.
How to Correctly Dispose of Infected Fruit
Method #1: Sun
Enclose the infected fruit in a sealed plastic bag and place it in the sun for a minimum of one week. It may be necessary to also treat fruit you haven’t tested if it is from the same tree or the same producer as the fruit you have identified as infected.
Method #2: Cold
Enclose any infected fruit or suspected fruit in a plastic bag and then place it in the freezer for no less than three days. At this point, the maggots will be dead and you can safely put this bag in your landfill bin.
Contact Pest Control Experts if Your Orchard is Infested
AGJ Pest Management are experts when it comes to dealing with all manner of household pests, including fruit flies in Brisbane. To avoid needing to cut down your entire orchard, the best thing you can do is get an expert appraisal and have us inspect your fruit trees as soon as possible. Call us on 0421 533 002 or contact us online.