Take action NOW to avoid crop losses later
It is shaping to be a big Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) season – conditions through winter and spring have been perfect for Qfly and numbers have been steadily building. A wetter than average spring will also favour Qfly.
What to do now
Apply a weekly bait spray to any orchard areas that still have fruit. Apply bait even after the pickers have been through, because any fruit left behind by pickers is a perfect target for Qfly.
Direct the bait spray to the trunk or foliage at the skirts of trees (avoiding fruit). The bait attracts the flies, and the insecticide mixed into the bait kills them.
Check traps regularly. If you find Qfly in traps, that means Qfly are still in or near your orchard, so you should continue with regular bait sprays.
Baiting does increase your costs, but so does un-saleable fruit!
The cost of baiting weekly is much lower than the cost of a damaged crop.
The cost of applying a bait spray is much lower than the cost of applying a cover spray.
- You can travel quickly.
- You only treat every second row.
- Minimal time refilling tanks because you apply such low volumes that one tank of bait goes a long way.
Making up a bait
The bait is made of protein (to attract the flies) and insecticide (to poison the protein bait).
Some growers add gum to the mix to extend the effectiveness of the bait.
For practical information about baiting or trapping Qfly, contact Alison MacGregor at Citrus Australia on (03) 5023 6333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.