Department of Agriculture and Food officers Ernie Steiner and Jeremy Lindsey with a vehicle carrying sterile fruit flies which will be released in Roleystone as part of a trial to test fruit fly control measures.Roleystone residents may witness some unusual activity involving fruit flies in the area during coming weeks.
Department of Agriculture and Food officers will travel weekly through the area releasing hundreds of thousands of sterile male fruit flies as part of a trial.
Department senior research officer Bill Woods said the 10-week trial was testing the use of sterile insects to control Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) populations.
“Medfly is a serious fruit pest and can infest a wide variety of fruit and vegetable crops,” Mr Woods said.
“The fruit flies are reared at department facilities in South Perth and irradiated so they become sterile.
“These sterile males are then released into known populations of fruit fly. The wild females who mate with the sterile males will lay only sterile eggs. This is known as the ‘sterile insect technique’ which is used to help control outbreaks of Medfly.”
Department liaison officer Ernie Steiner said fruit fly cost the WA fruit and vegetable industry millions of dollars each year, and it was important for everyone to do their bit to control fruit fly.
“Industry is focusing on an area-wide approach to controlling fruit fly. This means every grower – whether they are a commercial grower or landholder with a fruit tree or vegetable patch – needs to help control fruit fly.
“The department is urging all residents with fruit trees or vegetable patches to be aware of the need to control Medfly.
“Actions include removing unwanted or unmanaged trees, don’t leave fruit or fruiting vegetables on the ground to rot, and keep an eye out for fruit flies and control them as needed.”
More information on fruit fly and control options is available from 老域名agric.wa.gov备案老域名 or by contacting the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 1800 084 881.
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