Queensland fruit fly

Male fruit flies were found in surveillance traps in 2 suburbs on Auckland's North Shore between 14 February and 14 March 2019. Find out more about these types of flies and what we've done.

Update – 12 April 2019

Last controls on the movement of fruit and vegetables lifted

Media release – situation update

The Export Restriction Zone (ERZ) remains in place

Find out about the ERZ and what it means 

Background

Biosecurity New Zealand has been investigating finds of single male Queensland fruit flies in surveillance traps in the Auckland suburbs of Northcote and Devonport.

Legal controls on the movement of fruit and vegetables in both suburbs have been lifted.

Devonport situation

In Devonport, legal controls were put in place on 14 February 2019, after a single male Queensland fruit fly was collected from a national surveillance trap. No further flies were detected in the suburb and those legal controls were lifted on 22 March.

Northcote situation 

In Northcote, legal controls were put in place on 20 February 2019. Between 20 February and 14 March, 6 single male flies were found in separate traps. We carried out a baiting operation to see if there were more Queensland fruit flies in the suburb. No further flies were found. Legal controls were lifted on 12 April.

An enhanced trapping network will continue in Northcote and Devonport for an extended period as a precautionary measure. 

Thank you letter for Devonport residents [PDF, 103 KB]

Thank you letter for Northcote residents [PDF, 114 KB]

Another type of fruit fly also found

Note, we also investigated the discovery of another type of fruit fly in a different Auckland suburb – Ōtara.

Find out about the facialis fruit fly found in Ōtara

Media release updates

Controlled area notices lifted

To manage the fruit flies that were found, Northcote and Devonport were put under Controlled Area Notices (CANs). These notices restricted the movement of certain fruits and vegetables out of the controlled areas to help prevent the spread of any fruit flies if there were more out there.

The restrictions have been lifted for both suburbs.

Information about Export Restriction Zones

The Export Restriction Zone (ERZ) of 3.2km around the area where Queensland fruit flies were first detected remains in place.

This means export consignments of Queensland fruit fly host material must meet additional requirements to move through the ERZ and be eligible for export.

All Queensland fruit fly host material destined for export and travelling through an Export Restriction Zone must be contained in an insect-proofed environment and some additional documentation provided.

Information and guidance about the ERZ and transit requirements

FAQs for exporters [PDF, 212 KB]

Requirements and guidance for exporters [PDF, 713 KB]

Find out if you're in the ERZ with our map

If you are a grower or operate a packhouse, you can check if you are in the ERZ with our interactive map.

About Queensland fruit fly

The Queensland fruit fly is a major threat to New Zealand horticulture, our economy and many of the fruit and vegetables people grow at home. We don’t want it to establish here.

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.

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

  • Prior to the 2019 fruit fly finds, surveillance traps had detected Queensland fruit fly on 4 occasions since 2012.
  • One detection in February 2015, in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn, was linked to a fruit fly population. That small population was declared eradicated on 4 December 2015.

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 1 July, when fruit flies are active. Any catches trigger a response similar to the recent ones in Devonport and Northshore and in Grey Lynn in 2015. 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.

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

Image files for media use

Media needing images of Queensland fruit flies can download these files:

Queensland fruit fly dorsal [JPG, 2.7 MB]

Queensland fruit fly lateral [JPG, 3.1 MB]

Queensland fruit fly on a leaf [JPG, 5.1 MB]

Fruit fly larvae on peach

Fruit fly larvae on mango

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