FAQs related to Hadda beetle established in Auckland
Wiping out a pest like the painted apple moth takes time. It took three years to wipe out the white spotted tussock moth after it was discovered in Auckland in 1996. MAF has taken a less aggressive approach to the painted apple moth because it spreads more slowly and it was worth trying alternatives to aerial spraying first. Even so, MAF has successfully contained the painted apple moth to western Auckland and is on track to wipe it out.
MAF has an extensive monitoring programme to keep track of the painted apple moth.
- Every week MAF conducts a ground survey of known infestations.
- MAF frequently monitors traps set in and around the painted apple moth zone. The traps use live female moths as bait to catch male moths so that their breeding cycles can be monitored. The number of traps ranges from 100 in winter to 1,000 in spring and summer (when male moths are more active).
- Every 7-8 weeks MAF conducts a detailed ground survey of thousands of western Auckland properties over a wide area in and around the painted apple moth zone. Surveyors search for egg masses, pupae, and caterpillar lifestages of the painted apple moth. Infestations are sprayed from the ground when found and plants which the pest is likely to feed on are often removed.
If you find a painted apple moth, contact the painted apple moth information line immediately:
- Phone: 0800 96 96 96
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Residents have an important role in the fight to wipe out the painted apple moth. There are three things that residents can do:
- Keep an eye out for painted apple moths in your garden, in parks, and on your dog after walking through parks.
- Notify MAF immediately of any painted apple moths you find
- Phone: 0800 96 96 96
- Email: email@example.com
- Don't move garden waste out of the vegetation control zone to help prevent the pest from spreading
MAF has established a vegetation control zone under the Biosecurity Act to limit the spread of the painted apple moth. The pest can be easily spread by moving plants they are living in so the vegetation control zone establishes a containment area that vegetation cannot be moved out of.
The vegetation control zone extends beyond areas where painted apple moths have been found and beyond the area covered by aerial operations.
A map of the vegetation control zone is now available:
Some people may be allergic to the caterpillar’s hairs.
The painted apple moth poses a serious threat to our gardens, crops, forests, native bush, and the communities that depend on them. The pest is a voracious and indiscriminate eater and destroys plants by eating their leaves. It is considered a minor pest in its native Australia where it and other moths are controlled by orchardists using pesticides. It poses a much greater threat to New Zealand’s horticulture and native forests and the moth has already adapted to native and introduced plants common throughout New Zealand.
Nobody knows for sure how it got here but it was probably a stowaway on a shipping container from Australia. This is the most likely explanation because the pest was first found in an industrial area and till then wasn’t found anywhere in the world outside Australia.
The painted apple moth (Teia anartoides) is a native Australian pest accidentally introduced to New Zealand. The moth is a minor pest in Australia but poses a serious threat to our gardens, crops, forests, native bush, and the communities that depend on them.
The painted apple moth is recognisable once you know what to look for.
There are five stages in the painted apple moth life cycle -- egg mass, larvae, pre-pupae, pupae (cocoon), and adult moths -- and the pest looks quite different at each stage. The painted apple moth is most distinctive in the larva (caterpillar) stage, when it is brightly coloured, hairy and easily recognised by the tufts of hair on its back. (No native caterpillars are hairy like the painted apple moth.)
If you find a painted apple moth, call 0800 96 96 96 immediately.
The painted apple moth is quickly adapting to New Zealand and has been found on several common native species already. The pest is a voracious eater, defoliating, and eventually destroying, trees it feeds on. If uncontrolled, the pest could spread throughout our native and exotic forests causing widespread destruction.
Female moths are flightless but male moths can fly and newly hatched caterpillars can "balloon" up to a few hundred metres in the wind using silken threads. Most importantly, the pest can be spread by residents moving plants they’re living in.
If it isn't wiped out the moth could cost the country $350 million over the next 20 years.
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.