FRUIT fly eradication efforts in the Riverland will reach new heights, with more community and grower involvement than ever before, as the weather warms up and flies re-emerge, threatening locally-grown fruit.
The Fruit Fly Spring Eradication Plan led by PIRSA started on August 1 to provide the best chance at getting fruit fly numbers down ahead of warmer spring weather in September.
The spring plan includes a new grower self-baiting program, traps on residential properties, and higher levels of activity in the highest risk areas.
Residents in red outbreak zones will start to see more PIRSA staff out and about, requesting access to yards to install or check fruit fly traps.
The Cera-traps, capture and kill fruit flies and are safe to people and pets.
Traps will be regularly checked by PIRSA, residents with home gardens may see traps in their trees, even if they are not fruit trees, as fruit flies rest and feed on all kinds of leaves.
Fruit Fly Response general manager Nick Secomb said was confident they could get on top of fruit fly in the Riverland.
"We eradicated Adelaide's 12 outbreaks last year, and together with industry have developed this Spring Eradication Plan to do just that," he said..
"Community will play an integral role. PIRSA can't do it alone, and just as Adelaide residents helped us last year, we know the Riverland community is stepping up and will help us even more now to prevent fruit fly breeding in backyards.
"To help the traps and bait have the greatest impact, it's everyone's job to pick their ripe fruit promptly and collect fallen fruit off the ground to break the fruit fly life cycle. It seems like a simple thing, but it really does work to stop the flies from successfully breeding."
Riverland Fruit Fly Committee chair Jason Size said the horticultural industry has been working closely with PIRSA to explore new ways of responding to the Riverland fruit fly outbreaks.
"We've been working through different scenarios because with 13 Riverland fruit fly outbreaks, fruit movement conditions for the horticultural industry became unmanageable," he said.
"Changes have been made to make it easier for commercial growers to receive the permission they need from PIRSA to do business across fruit fly affected areas.
"These changes came after some good consultation, and provided a great opportunity to look at the eradication approach a bit differently.
"Our joint planning day in June was a day of key Riverland stakeholders working together to develop a more flexible and proactive plan to get rid of fruit fly in the Riverland.
"The Spring Eradication Plan offers eligible commercial growers free bait and devices such as traps to use on their properties.
"PIRSA will bait and deploy devices for 200 metres around detection sites, but outside that it's over to growers in outbreak areas to use the bait and devices PIRSA will supply.
"With growers' help, this spring the eradication effort will achieve a greater reach and greater intensity than previously possible.
"PIRSA and industry are confident that the new approach gives the region the best possible chance of achieving fruit fly eradication in the Riverland Pest Free Area."
Primary industries minister Clare Scriven said it's important PIRSA, growers and the community work together to get on top of these outbreaks.
"We're committed to working alongside our growers, retailers and residents to ensure they have the right education and tools on hand to help protect our horticulture industry," she said.
Commercial growers interested in being part of the self-baiting program are encouraged to e-mail email@example.com or call 1300 666 010 to request a registration form.
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