FAQs related to Queensland fruit fly
MPI has found a single male Queensland fruit fly as part of its routine surveillance for this insect pest. We are now working urgently to find out if this is a single insect or whether there are further fruit flies present in the area. While we are doing these checks, we have put in place measures to minimise the risk of any spread should there be other insects present. We’re working with the horticultural industries which could be affected if the pest is in New Zealand, and also with trading partners to manage issues surrounding the detection.
Avondale in Auckland. As above it was found as part of regular MPI work to check for this pest and other fruit flies of concern. We run a programme where 7500 traps are set nationwide and checked fortnightly for fruit flies. This programme is in place so that if any fruit flies do get into the country, they can be found quickly and eliminated. It provides the basis for export assurances that we are free of fruit flies.
A single fruit fly find does not mean there is an outbreak of the fly. If there is a population present, there will not be aerial spraying with insecticide. There are better methods to deal with fruit flies.
We don’t know and may never know for sure. It is typically moved within fresh fruit.
The area is a circular area around the trap where the fly was detected. It goes out 1.5 kilometres from the find and takes in an area of 7 km2 in the suburb of Avondale.
There about 4500 traps in the Auckland region. Within 200m of the property where the fly was found, traps will be put in a variety of fruit trees, with at least one trap per property on the kinds of trees that this pest feeds on. In the area about 1.5km around the find, traps will be placed in trees at a density of 20-30 traps per square kilometre.
The traps look a bit like a plastic takeaway food carton and contain a lure that is attractive to Queensland fruit flies. They are harmless to people or pets.
MPI has issued a Controlled Area Notice. This is a set of restrictions that apply within a defined area – in this case, a circle 1.5 kilometres out from the location of the fruit fly find. A full map of the area and list of street addresses that make up the boundary is on the MPI website: www.mpi.govt.nz
Within this Controlled area there are two zones – Zone A is the area closest to the find and goes out to 200 metres. Zone B is beyond that out to 1.5 km.
If you live in Zone A, you are required not to move any whole fresh fruit or vegetables from your property.
If your home is in Zone B you can move whole fresh fruit and vegetables into or within the defined Controlled Area but not outside of it.
Importantly, anyone living in the whole Controlled Area is allowed to move any food products into the area from outside.
Full information on the Controlled Area is on the website.
Refer to the map and list of streets on the website as above.
This is not certain as yet, but is likely to be at least one to two weeks.
The restrictions apply to all whole fresh fruit and vegetables, but the main plants that this pest can be found in are:
All citrus fruits, custard apple, pumpkin, quince, persimmon, loquat, olives, oleander, feijoa, kumquat, crab-apple, passionfruit, avocado, cape gooseberry, all stonefruit, guava, pears, blackberry, boysenberry, tomato, eggplant, capsicum and grapes.
The restrictions apply to all movements of whole fruit. This means that if you live within the Controlled Area, and your child’s school is outside of the area, you will need to leave whole fresh fruit out of their lunchbox until further advised. You can include cut fruit where by cutting it open, you can tell that the fruit is in good condition and there are no bugs present in it.
It is very unlikely, but should you find any fruit that contains insects or their larvae or eggs, immediately call MPI on 0800 80 99 66.
You are allowed to carry fruit within the wider zone but not allowed to remove it from the area. If you live in the inner Zone A, you should not take whole fruit and veges from your house at all. The Ministry does have the power to stop you.
There are approximately 108 houses in Zone A and over 5540 in Zone B.
Information will be continually updated on this website.
Trade may continue but whole fresh fruit, certain vegetables and some plant products are not allowed to be taken outside the zone. Shops may be required to put in place some additional measures. The Ministry will be talking to shopkeepers individually where possible.
MPI has asked that you separate your rubbish, with fruit, vegetable or garden waste separated from other rubbish. This material should ideally be disposed of through in-sink waste disposal units, or can be disposed of in special bins that MPI is providing in the area. The location of these bins will be on the website. Non- restricted material will be collected as normal.
It is possible to bring fruit, vegetables and other material into the Controlled Area from outside. However, once this material is brought in, movement controls will apply and it cannot be moved back out of the area.
No – the MPI’s trapping system and skilled technicians will be doing all checks required in the area.
Call the Ministry’s helpline on 0800 80 99 66.
At this early stage there will be five people laying traps and there will be a significant number of other people involved including investigators, scientists and operational staff. Queensland
There are currently no trade restrictions imposed on trade.