Joining The Fight Against Auckland's Fruit Fly Invasion

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Treescape Flies to Respond

Fruit flyOn the 16th of February 2015, a Queensland fruit fly was found in a detection trap as part of the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) early detection surveillance for invasive and unwanted pests. This fruit fly, of Australian origin, has the potential to be a very destructive agricultural pest if established in New Zealand. The Queensland fruit fly is quite different from the familiar Drosophila fruit flies we see in our kitchens on the aging bananas; it has a broad array of hosts which it destroys prior to the ripening or maturation of fruit. This characteristic allows it to be particularly threatening to NZ fruit growers of all kinds.

Treescape Environmental have been working alongside many other contractors to assist with the eradication of an isolated population of fruit fly found recently in Grey Lynn. A Controlled Area has been implemented around the original detection site, with efforts to try and prevent the insect from moving out of that area. There are many important tasks that need to be carried out daily to ensure that containment and surveillance are effective. Treescape staff with Growsafe training have been provided to MPI - they apply a protein bait-insecticide mixture to trees within the Controlled Area. Treescape staff have also been providing outreach assistance and pheromone trap checking within the Controlled Area.

Treescape Environmental would like to say thanks to all of the people in  the Kumeu and Otahuhu yards who either provided crews or have physically been out there working. We could not do it without you. We'd also like to say thanks to Grant Hughes and his guys from Auckland Commercial who were a part of our initial response team.

Participating in the bio-security response has been a great opportunity for Treescape to work alongside people from all over the country who have come to Auckland in response to this bio-security emergency. It’s been a valuable exercise as we move toward further capacity building in emergency bio-security response capability.

For up to date fruit fly information check out the www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests/queensland-fruit-fly website.

Written By: Erika Commers, Consulting Arborist, Treescape Environmental (NZ)

 


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