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Fruit Fly Update from MPI – No let-up in Biosecurity Response

22 July 2019

Fruit Fly Update from MPI – No let-up in Biosecurity Response

Ministry for Primary Industries - Situation update

Fruit fly in Auckland, 19 July 2019

There has been no let-up in Biosecurity New Zealand's response to the recent fruit fly finds in the Northcote area, with restrictions remaining in place to contain the pest.

Since 26 April, an area of Northcote has been under a Controlled Area Notice. This restricts the movement of certain fruits and vegetables out of controlled areas to help prevent the spread of any fruit flies still in the area.

Along with the continued restrictions, a network of fruit fly surveillance traps which attract male fruit flies have remained in the area over winter and are regularly checked.

"It is that continued vigilance that led to the discovery of another single male fruit fly on 15 July in a trap in the current controlled area, 350 metres from where the last was found on 31 May," says Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Dr Catherine Duthie.

"We cannot afford to take our foot off the pedal. We have found 10 of these flies in the Northcote area since February, and while we still haven't found any evidence of larvae, pupae, eggs or female flies, the continued finds indicate that Queensland fruit flies remain in the area, albeit at very low levels."

An established population of the flies could be devastating to New Zealand's multi-billion dollar horticulture industry.

"Once we start heading out of winter, we will be looking at stepping up again, with the focus on maintaining controls and continuing with baiting and more intensive trapping," says Dr Duthie.

"Biosecurity New Zealand understands that this response is a significant inconvenience for those living and working in the controlled area and we are so grateful for your continued support over the many months these restrictions have been in place."

Detailed maps of the controlled areas and a full description of the boundaries, and full information about the rules are at: www.biosecurity.govt.nz/fruitfly