Fruit fly though small, is one of the BIG pests which infest fruit. This wasp-like fly lays eggs in the developing fruit. The eggs quickly hatch and the larvae burrow their way through the fruit making it inedible. Covering fruit trees and veggie patches with Pest & Insect Net and also placing fruit fly baits in your garden are good prevention measures from fruit fly damage. Fruit fly baits will also give you a good indication as to when to start your spray program.
Your spray program should begin when the fruit begins to colour which is approximately 6-8 weeks before harvest.
*Yates Fruit Fly Control (organic) – Apply when fruit fly is present or when fruit begins to colour. Use Yates Fruit Fly Control as a spot spray to the trunk, fence posts or lower foliage of the tree. Repeat weekly and re-apply sooner if there has been rain. Do not apply directly to fruit, nor if rain is expected within 24 hours. This is best when used in conjunction with a fruit fly bait.
3 popular fruit fly baits
Cera Trap – Cera Trap contains a unique protein based liquid that is very attractive to both the female and male fruit flies, breaking the breeding cycle. Apply 1 trap per tree or 1 trap every 20 square metres when trees are touching. Traps can be refilled or replaced when the liquid has evaporated (usually 3-4 months)
*Carefully remove lid and screw on the hanging apparatus and insert a wire or cable tie through the top.
*For best results position trap in the northern side of the tree approximately 1.5m above the ground.
*Replace or refill cera trap every 3-4 months once all the liquid has evaporated
Q Fly Wick – Q Fly Wick is an insecticide impregnated wick which attracts and kills the male fruit fly. The wick is effective for up to 3 months and then should be replaced. It will attract male flies from up to 400 metres. Use Q Fly wicks as a monitoring tool and best used in conjunction with a cover spray or routine baiting program.
*Place wick in trap and hang trap in tree at head height.
*Place traps around the perimeter of orchard to indicate the source direction of flies entering the orchard. One or two traps in the centre of the orchard can be used to indicate the efficacy of the control program.
*Empty trap and record fly numbers weekly, when numbers increase begin cover spray program.
*Wicks should be replaced after 3 months.
Wild May – A pesticide free liquid lure that attracts and kills the male fruit fly. This product may be used to detect the onset of the fruit fly season and as a monitoring tool in conjunction with routine spray program.
*Pour wild may into base of trap to a minimum depth of 20mm.
*Place trap in a shaded branch on the eastern side of the tree approximately 1.2m off the ground
*Place 4 traps per hectare, equally spaced around areas where fruit flies are to be controlled.
*Recharge traps as the liquid evaporates. When recharging the trap it is advisable to remove dead flies from the trap liquid by pouring the liquid through a sieve or using a small spoon.
To prevent fruit fly from spreading, pick up any old fallen fruit. Destroy infested fruit by placing it in a plastic bag and leaving it to cook in the sun, then dispose. For more gardening tips and information join Our Gardening Corner.