New citrus baiting fact sheet to help growers control fruit fly
12 November 2020
Growers may experience more serious problems with Queensland fruit fly this season unless timely and adequate management strategies are put in place.
With the onset of La Niña, higher than normal rainfall and minimum temperatures are forecast across Australia for spring and summer. Under these weather conditions, Qfly populations can increase rapidly and become out of control if not monitored at least weekly.
In regions where Qfly is established, it is recommended to commence routine bait spraying in spring, and baits must be reapplied after every rainfall to be effective.
Citrus growers in southern regions can learn more about integrating Qfly bait spraying into their pest management program by downloading a new citrus baiting fact sheet from the Citrus Australia website. You can download it here.
The bait spraying fact sheet was developed by the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area in partnership with Citrus Australia’s Alison MacGregor, who has a background in agrichemicals, extension and integrated pest management, and Andrew Jessup, an entomologist and fruit fly specialist.
According to Alison, bait spraying is one of the most reliable and integrated pest management-friendly ways to reduce Qfly numbers in the orchard.
“Bait spraying to control Qfly is very effective for many reasons,” she said.
“You only need to put out very low quantities, placing it strategically through your orchard, and the flies come to find the bait. Whereas if you were to do a broad-spectrum cover spray, you would have to spray the whole orchard canopy, using a lot more volume, because the chemical has to find the flies.
“Bait sprays also last for a longer period of time – they will be effective for a week or so.
“Also, you’re not disrupting your natural pest control because the bait is only targeted at Qfly; beneficial insects are not susceptible to the bait at all.
“If you use a broad-spectrum insecticide you will kill all the good bugs, and suddenly you have no protection against lower-level pests that are normally managed by predators and parasites. In a balanced orchard, beneficial insects do most of the pest control for us, and eliminating them with a broad-spectrum spray can cause flare-ups of other insect pests.”
Growers can find more information about on-farm control strategies for Qfly as well as the latest Qfly news and events on the new-look GSPFA website: www.pestfreearea.com.au