IT IS the places away from the orchard that need to be considered when it comes to tackling Queensland fruit fly, according to one expert.
Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area (GSPFA) regional coordinator, Deidre Jaensch, presented some guidelines for fruit fly management in citrus operations at the NSW DPI's Citrus R&D Roadshow in Mildura in October.
The event brought together growers to hear speakers cover a variety of topics, including pruning, high density planting, rootstocks, packout procedures, windbreaks, pests, weeds and nutrition.
When the topic turned to Q-fly, Ms Jaensch said growers needed to keep in mind their house blocks, sheds, gardens, water courses, boundary plantations and other host trees on the property in order to get better control.
She said placing Q-fly traps would give a better indication of any pest activity.
In terms of placement, research has shown a trap placed every 300m to 450m works best, or about 10-20 traps per hectare.
Ms Jaensch said it was a matter of having enough monitoring traps for it to be useful but not so many that it gets all too hard.
"If you are getting two or three flies, you really need to start to take action," Ms Jaensch said.
Ms Jaensch said not to rely solely on the traps but to cut open some fruit to see inside as well.
The signs of Q-fly to look out for include premature ripening, soft spots, fallen fruit and maggots in the fruit, among others.
"By the time you see these signs, it's actually too late to do anything about it so that early control really is the key," she said.
There was a special reminder for those growers living near olive orchards.
"A lot of wind breaks are planted for olives and we've only just recently realised that olives are a host to Queensland fruit fly," she said.
Q-fly control requires vigilance throughout the entire season, according to Ms Jaensch, with sprays needing to be applied on a weekly basis and re-applied if it rains.
She recommended growers kept spraying for four weeks after a Q-fly was found to ensure control.
Other control advice included keeping a clean orchard floor, speaking to neighbours about control requirements and thoroughly disposing of excess fruit.
The GSPFA recently reminded householders to cut back and remove fruit trees they can no longer manage, as part of a concerted effort to remove host fruit for Q-fly before the warmer weather.
The organisation also conducted the second rollout of fruit fly traps across the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Areas at the start of October to continue building the momentum of this year’s concentrated attack on fruit fly.
More than 38,000 traps will be delivered to households in urban areas around Mildura, Merbein, Irymple, Nichols Point, Red Cliffs, Nangiloc, Dareton, Buronga, Gol Gol and Wentworth over the following three weeks.
There will also be 12,000 traps distributed in the Swan Hill area, another 3000 around Barham (November 11 and 12), and 2500 to residents in the Robinvale and Boundary Bend townships (November 4 and 5).