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Managing Mediterranean fruit fly in backyards | Department of Agriculture and Food WA

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Published on Feb 25, 2015

Department of Agriculture and Food WA

Managing Mediterranean fruit fly in backyards

Learn about the best practices to control fruit fly in your garden, by hygiene, baiting and trapping. Our fruit fly expert, Ernie Steiner, from the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, explains as he stands amongst home fruit trees. He also shows you how to make your own homemade fruit fly trap from household products.
Additional tips
For more homemade recipes using household products, visit: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/fruit/med...
While these following pages are aimed at commercial growers, there are many tips that are beneficial for the home gardener:
Baiting: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/pome-frui...
Hygiene: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/citrus/co...
Traps: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/stone-fru...
Wondering what DAFWA does on a commercial level to control Mediterranean fruit fly? Read about our sterile Mediterranean fruit fly project happening in Carnarvon. https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/news/medi...

In the video is:
Ernie Steiner, Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia

Transcript

The fruit fly in Western Australia is an enormous problem for commercial fruit producers and is also a menace to the backyard fruit growers.

It renders fruit inedible and it's been with us since 1895. Mediterranean fruit fly is about the size of a housefly, it’s brown in colour, has got patterned wings, quite an attractive fly, but a devastating menace.
One of the things we would like to get people involved with, is the use of a calendar at home, to actually mark when their fruit is about to be harvested and even before that, when the fruit is half formed and with these stages of fruit development, you can time your activities.

Having a fruit tree is a little bit like having a pet, and of course, you must clean up after it. Pick up fallen fruit and put it into a black plastic bag, seal up the bag and then leave it in the sun for a week. This will kill off any eggs or larvae maggots that are in the fruit.

Organic foliar fruit fly baits are available and I've got one here, and we just going to measure the solution, putting it into the water. So this contains molasses and a natural insecticide to kill off the fruit fly.

It’s always important to read the label. It will give you specific ways in which you can mix and apply the fruit fly foliar bait.

We’re just using a simple home type pressure sprayer, pump up type. Just going to give this a few pumps [pump, pump, pump] and what we want to do when we apply the foliar bait is to have it coming out as the course steam, so we are putting a food source onto the leaves, that's going to attract the fruit fly and kill them.

Baiting should be done at least once a week and preferably twice a week in the warmer months.

Fruit fly trapping is an effective way of reducing the fruit fly population in your backyard and reducing the damage to your fruit.

You can either buy a commercial trap or you can make your own from a cool drink bottle.

Starting with the container of water to which we are adding 50 mL of cloudy ammonia, which you can buy at the supermarket. Adding to that, a tablespoon of sugar, 5 mL of vanilla essence, 1 tablespoon of the yeast extract and then mix it in.

So you want to fill this just to below the holes that you've put in with your soldering iron, and it's ready to go.
Once you put your trap in place, keep an eye on the solution and we recommend changing the lure every week.

And another way to prevent fruit fly damage is to prevent access of the fruit fly to your fruit. You can do this by either using netting or you can buy commercially available bags. Paper bags or cloth bags or mesh bags are all available.

Following all those control practices will enable you to enjoy your homegrown fruit.
End of transcript

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