No fruit fly outbreak detected to date as round-the-clock actions continue
13 May 2012
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) reports this afternoon that testing on samples from fruit fly traps in the Auckland Controlled Area has so far shown no sign of further fruit flies.
However as a precautionary measure, the Ministry continues a large field effort to ensure that if any of the pest insects are present, they are not able to spread from the Avondale area where the one male fly was found last week.
Deputy Director General Andrew Coleman says the community support for control measures on whole fresh fruit and vegetables has been fantastic.
"There are two key things we're asking: that people in the area MPI has established as a control zone don't move fresh fruit or vegetables outside this area's boundaries, and that they dispose of fruit and vegetable waste in the bins provided from tomorrow (Monday) and NOT in normal rubbish collections."
"While this is inconvenient, especially as we move into the school and business week, it is very important that if any fruit fly are present in the area, they are not moved," he says.
The Queensland fruit fly has the potential to seriously damage New Zealand's horticultural crops if left unchecked.
Today MPI has had some 30 staff at the Avondale Markets, speaking to the public and educating on the restrictions in place.
Fruit fly surveillance and control activities to date include:
- 71 traps to lure and capture any fruit fly present in the area have been set in fruit trees in Zone A – the area up to 200m out from the original fruit fly find
- 188 traps have been installed in fruiting trees in Zone B. More will be installed by the end of the day
- Ripe fruit from trees in Zone A has been collected for testing for larvae
- Testing of fruit and the contents of surveillance traps is underway
- 54 field staff have personally spoken to residents in all homes in Zone A
- Signs are being placed at the perimeter of the Controlled Area
- Signs are installed in supermarkets within the Controlled Area notifying that fruit purchased in the area cannot be moved outside of the zone
- Some 200 labelled wheelie bins being placed throughout the Controlled Area for the disposal of fruit and vegetable waste. Bins have been placed in locations to ensure no household has to travel more than approximately 200m to dispose of this waste. People are encouraged to use these bins responsibly – they are not for all household rubbish. Where people have in-sink waste disposals, the use of these is encouraged to get rid of fruit and vegetable waste.
Andrew Coleman says the control measures are likely to be in place for up to a fortnight yet while the Ministry continues to check for the presence of any breeding population of the fruit fly.
"On that note, people living in the Controlled Area do not need to go searching for fruit flies. These insects are very difficult to identify by eye alone and people need to trust in the traps.
"The traps that we have set are internationally recognised as the best way to locate any breeding population present, and if one is there, we will find it," Mr Coleman says.
Full information about the Queensland fruit fly is on the MPI website at: www.mpi.govt.nz and follow the fruit fly button.
For further information contact:
MPI Mediaphone: 029 8940328