26 September 2023

Agriculture on prowl for fruit fly

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Agriculture Victoria is asking south-west residents to monitor their gardens for fruit flies after recent outbreaks of Mediterranean fruit fly were declared in South Australia

Senior Project officer, Domestic Quarantine at Agriculture Victoria, Lavinia Zirnsak said some fruit fly species could cause significant damage to a wide variety of fruit and vegetable crops, and had the potential to impact produce getting to market.

“Anyone growing their own fruit or vegetables in south west Victoria can assist Agriculture Victoria’s efforts to monitor for the occurrence of fruit fly species in the region,” Ms Zirnsak said.

“Mediterranean fruit fly is an exotic species to Victoria and is a significant threat to the State’s horticulture industry.”

She said south-west residents could contact Agriculture Victoria if they suspected they had fruit fly larvae in their garden, fruit tree or veggie patch.

“Anyone who reports a suspected fruit fly infestation within the region will receive a collection kit from Agriculture Victoria with instructions for submitting a sample for testing,” she said.

“It’s as simple as placing the larvae infested piece of fruit or vegetable into a sealed plastic bag and sending it to our laboratory.”

Ms Zirnsak said the community’s help with Agriculture Victoria’s surveillance program would assist with the early detection of exotic fruit flies and protect Victoria’s multi-million-dollar fruit and vegetable industries.

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