Queensland fruit fly back on Auckland’s North Shore

Another Queensland fruit fly has been found in the Auckland suburb of Northcote.

The discovery brings the total number of flies found in the area over the past three and a half months to eight.

Biosecurity New Zealand said it would begin placing bait on fruit trees to attract and kill adult flies, in particular females.

Restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables would remain in place, and trapping and the collection of fallen fruit in part of the controlled area would continue, Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Catherine Duthie said.

“While it is concerning there has been another detection, it still doesn’t tell us that there is a breeding population. What it does is raises the potential that Queensland fruit flies remain in the area, albeit at very low levels,” Dr Duthie said.

Controlled area zones in Northcote will be expanded as a result of the latest find.

People will be given 24 hours notice if bait needs to be placed in trees on their property.

Queensland fruit flies pose a major risk to New Zealand’s $5.5 billion horticulture industry.

“We know it’s a huge inconvenience, but it’s vital for our horticultural industries that we do this. We don’t want this pest to establish here,” Dr Duthie said.

Timeline: Fruit flies found in Auckland in 2019

  • February 18 – A different species of fruit fly, a male facialis, was discovered in Ōtara, south Auckland. A Controlled Area Notice was put in place
  • February 20 – Another single male Queensland fruit fly found in Northcote. A Controlled Area Notice was put in place
  • February 21 – A second single male facialis detected in Ōtara, only 70 metres from the first find
  • February 23 – Another single Queensland fruit fly found in Northcote
  • February 28 – A third single male Queensland fruit fly detected in Northcote, 270 metres from where the last was found
  • March 4 – A fourth male Queensland fruit fly detected in Northcote, approximately 80 metres from where the last was found
  • March 5 – A third single male facialis detected in Ōtara, 630 metres from the last find
  • March 10 – A fifth single male Queensland fruit fly found in Northcote, 60 metres from where the last was found
  • March 14 – A sixth single male Queensland fruit fly found in Northcote 650 metres from the original find. The operational response was stepped up to include baiting
  • March 22 – The Controlled Area Notices for Devonport and Ōtara were lifted after no further fruit flies were detected. Enhanced trapping continued as a precautionary measure
  • April 12 – The Controlled Area Notice for Northcote was lifted after no further fruit flies were detected. Enhanced trapping continued as a precautionary measure
  • April 25 – A seventh single male Queensland fruit fly was found in Northcote 460 metres away from where the cluster of male flies were found over a three week period. A Controlled Area Notice was put in place
  • May 10 – An eighth single male Queensland fruit fly was found in Northcote, 1.6 kilometres away from where the last fly was found. The operational response has been stepped up to include baiting.