Queensland fruit fly

Single male fruit flies have been found in separate surveillance traps in an area in and around the Auckland North Shore suburb of Northcote. Find out more about these types of flies and what we're doing.


12 August 2019: Biosecurity New Zealand’s fruit fly response in the Northcote area is about to step up again, with the focus on maintaining controls and continuing with baiting and more intensive trapping.

Media release

New trap deployment letter to property owners [PDF, 655 KB]

19 July 2019: There has been no let-up in Biosecurity New Zealand’s response to the recent fruit fly finds in the Northcote area, with restrictions remaining in place to contain the pest.

Media release – situation update 19 July 2019

2 July 2019: Change to Controlled Area Notice but restrictions remain.

7 June 2019: On the ground efforts to manage the recent fruit fly detections in the Northcote area continue, with the possibility of some controls remaining in place throughout the winter months.

Media release – situation update 7 June 2019

11 May: Step-up in response in Northcote after another male Queensland fruit fly is found. Baiting to begin.

Media release - situation update 11 May

Export Restriction Zone (ERZ)

Find out about the ERZ and what it means  


Biosecurity New Zealand has been investigating finds of single male Queensland fruit flies between February and July 2019 in surveillance traps in the Auckland suburb of Northcote. A Controlled Area Notice is in place.

Legal controls on the movement of fruit and vegetables had been lifted for Northcote on 22 March. However, they were re-introduced to an area of Northcote on 26 April following the discovery of a further single male fly in the area. Further single male fruit flies were found within the current Northcote controlled area, with the last detected on 15 July, bringing the total found in the area to ten.

Baiting for more fruit fly

Biosecurity New Zealand is stepping up it’s on the ground efforts in the suburb as spring approaches, and will be placing bait on fruit trees to attract and kill adult flies, in particular females.

Treatment being used

The main treatment is an insecticide bait that attracts and kills adult fruit flies There are two components to the bait – a protein to attract adult fruit flies and a low concentration of insecticide (these are called either fipronil or spinetoram) to kill the flies.

Our staff have applied bait treatment on and around trees on selected properties. Our operators have talked to residents when they could and left information sheets in letterboxes.

The baits are toxic to fruit flies. We have taken every precaution to make sure the baits are safe around people and animals. Purely as a precaution, we recommend staying away from trees where bait has been used, and do not eat fruit and leaves from trees that have been treated.

Treatment will continue for a period of time that provides confidence that no further flies are present. 

Controlled Area Notice

An area of Northcote remains under a Controlled Area Notice. This restricts the movement of locally produced whole fresh fruits and vegetables (except for leafy or root vegetables) out of controlled areas to help prevent the spread of any fruit flies if there are more out there.

Find out if you're in the controlled area

To find out if your home or business is in the controlled area, 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 controls on fruit and vegetables

If you live in Zone B (refer to map):

We'd like to thank everyone in the controlled area for their continued cooperation with our fruit fly operation in the area. While the operation is still ongoing, don't move any homegrown whole fresh fruit or vegetables (except for leafy or root veges) and any host garden waste (such as cuttings from fruit trees or vegetable garden cuttings) out of the controlled area. These need to be disposed of in Biosecurity New Zealand provided waste bins. If they cannot fit in the bins, then keep the waste on your property to get disposed of through appropriate movement permits, or be chipped.

You are free to move commercially-purchased fruit and vegetables (such as fruit and vegetables bought at the supermarket) out of the area.

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 have brochures in English and other languages with information and guidance about movement controls. 

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 home-grown 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 about Export Restriction Zones

We have established an Export Restriction Zone (ERZ) of 3.2km around the controlled area. 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.

We've prepared the following information and guidance about the Export Restriction Zone and transit requirements.

Download the FAQ for Exporters [PDF, 881 KB]

Download the requirements and guidance for exporters [PDF, 713 KB]

If you are a grower or packhouse, check if you are in the ERZ using this interactive map:

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

Queensland fruit flies are about 6 to 8 mm long and are reddish-brown coloured with yellow markings.

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

If you live in Northcote, 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.


Biosecurity New Zealand'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 current response. If a breeding population is found, insecticide treatments are used to get rid of it.

Image 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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