Queensland fruit fly

On 14 February 2019, we found a single male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in Devonport, Auckland. Find out more about these flies and what we're doing.

What's the situation?

Biosecurity New Zealand is investigating a find of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Devonport.

The fly was collected from a fruit fly trap and formally identified on the afternoon of 14 February. A Controlled Area Notice has been issued for Devonport. It's the fifth time a Queensland fruit fly has been detected in the upper North Island in the past decade. Biosecurity New Zealand’s staff are well practised in dealing with this situation. Since the fruit fly was found, we've been working to locate any other possible fruit flies, and eradicate them if there are.

  • More than 60 people are working in Auckland and this number continues to grow. Around 20 Biosecurity New Zealand staff are working from the National HQ in Wellington.
  • Biosecurity New Zealand’s bio-secure mobile field laboratory is established at the Devonport Naval Base.
  • Staff there are inspecting produce collected from the area for signs of fruit fly and larvae.
  • Personnel are out in force providing information to local residents and people visiting Devonport.
  • Signs are up on main roads and at the Devonport Ferry Terminal.
  • Bins are going into the Controlled Area for local people to safely dispose of fruit and vegetable waste.

Another type of fruit fly also found

Note, we're also investigating the discovery of another type of fruit fly in a different Auckland suburb – Otara.

Find out about the facialis fruit fly found in Otara

Media release updates

Read our media releases for information on what's been happening:

Call us if you see a fruit fly or larvae

If you find larvae (they look like grains of rice) in fruit, or believe you have seen a fruit fly, call 0800 80 99 66.

Background

Queensland fruit fly on leaf.
A Queensland fruit fly.

Queensland fruit flies spoil many horticultural crops, often making them inedible.

They have been detected in New Zealand several times previously.

A population was eradicated from Auckland in December 2015.

The pest is difficult to catch at the border because it can arrive as eggs or tiny larvae concealed inside fruit.

Devonport under a Controlled Area Notice

To manage the fruit fly that has been found, an area of Devonport, Auckland, has been put under a Controlled Area Notice (CAN). This is effective from 15 February 2019. This restricts the movement of certain fruits and vegetables out of the Controlled Areat to help prevent the spread of any fruit flies if there are more out there.

The CAN is a legal notice and might affect you if you live in the area.  

Find out if you're in the Controlled Area

To find out if your home or business is in the Controlled Area and which Zone of the area, simply enter your address in our map below.


Please note the following section of content is possibly being delivered from an external source (IFRAME in HTML terms), and may present unusual experiences for screen readers.

Movement restrictions on fruits and vegetables in the Controlled Area

In short, the restrictions on moving fruit and vegetables are:

  • If you live in Zone A (refer to map):
    No whole fruit or vegetables (except leafy and root vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, bok choy, rhubarb, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, kumara, celery, onions, spring onions) can be taken out of Zone A. In addition, no fruit or vegetable waste (such as fruit skins and cores/stones, peelings and the like) or garden waste (such as prunings from fruit trees or vegetable garden cuttings) can go out of the area. The fruit and vegetables should either be disposed of in a home in-sink disposal unit or put into specially supplied Biosecurity New Zealand bins.
  • If you live in Zone B (refer to map):
    You must not move homegrown fruit and vegetables out of the Controlled Area. In other words, produce grown inside the Controlled Area cannot be moved out of it. You are free to move commercially-purchased fruit and vegetables (such as fruit and vegetables bought at the supermarket) out of the area. Homegrown produce waste and garden waste needs to be disposed of in Biosecurity New Zealand bins.

If in doubt, don't take it out.

Fruits and vegetables that are affected

All whole fruits and vegetables must meet the requirements of the Controlled Area Notice. Exceptions are:

  • leafy vegetables
  • root vegetables
  • cooked, processed, preserved, dried, frozen, and canned fruit

We've prepared a brochure with information and guidance about movement controls.

Download the brochure

Information for people in the controlled area making packed lunches

If you live in the Controlled Area (refer to map) and you're preparing lunch for work or school, you can still include fruit and vegetables, just make sure it’s cut up and you can’t see any larvae in it.

If you find larvae in fruit or believe you have seen a fruit fly, call 0800 80 99 66.

Information for retailers

What fruit and vegetables are at risk for Queensland fruit fly

We’ve prepared a list of fruit and vegetables that are called hosts. They’re plants the fruit fly feeds on. These fruits and vegetables are subject to movement controls for retailers. This is not a complete list of hosts, but intended for guidance only.


What you can do

Fruit fly larvae on a peach
Fruit fly larvae on a peach
 Fruit fly larvae on a mango
Fruit fly larvae on a mango

 

If you find larvae in fruit or believe you have seen a fruit fly, call 0800 80 99 66.

If you live around Devonport, find out if you're in the Controlled Area . If so, you will need to follow legal restrictions around movement of fruit and vegetables. Remember – if in doubt, don't take it out.

If you have any enquiries, call 0800 80 99 66.

Risk to New Zealand

Queensland fruit fly would jeopardise a horticulture industry worth $5 billion a year in domestic sales and exports.

  • 80% of New Zealand's horticulture crops are susceptible to attack by Queensland fruit fly.
  • Fruits and vegetables they attack become inedible.
  • Any fruit and vegetables would be subject to trade restrictions.

 Keeping them out

To keep Queensland fruit fly out, New Zealand:

  • imposes tough requirements on imported produce
  • checks passengers, luggage and freight at the border
  • has had a dedicated trapping programme since the 1970s.

The traps are an early-warning system, telling us if flies have arrived so we can eradicate them.

Trapping and eradication

  • Surveillance traps have detected Queensland fruit fly on 4 occasions since 2012.
  • One detection was linked to a fruit fly population.
  • The most recent detection was in February 2015, in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn.
  • That small population was declared eradicated on 4 December 2015.

Where in New Zealand?

Our 2015 eradication programme was focused on Grey Lynn, Auckland. This latest find is also in an Auckland suburb, Devonport. However, the pest is a nationwide threat and all New Zealanders should keep watch.

Surveillance

MPI's surveillance programme watches for 100 species of fruit fly, including the Queensland fruit fly.

  • More than 7,600 traps are set around the country.
  • Pheromones are used to lure flies into the traps.
  • Most traps are placed near airports, seaports, and densely populated areas – where flies would most likely enter the country.

Trapping runs from September till June, when fruit flies are active. Any catches trigger a response similar to the one in Grey Lynn. If a breeding population is found, insecticide treatments are used to get rid of it.

2015 eradication

A 2015 invasion of Queensland fruit fly in Grey Lynn, Auckland, was declared eradicated after a 10-month, community-wide campaign. The effort included:

  • restrictions on movement of fruit and vegetables out of the Grey Lynn area
  • insecticide treatments of properties where the pest was seen
  • baiting of all fruiting trees in the area
  • inspection of all fruit grown on local trees and removal of windfall fruit.

MPI and the horticulture industry thank the businesses and residents of Grey Lynn for their cooperation and help.

Last reviewed:
Has this been useful? Give us your feedback