News State Western Australia News Fruit fly forces quarantine of home-grown fruit and veg in Perth

Fruit fly forces quarantine of home-grown fruit and veg in Perth

Dancing fruit flies
Fruit flies have caused home-grown produce to be quarantined in south Perth. Photo: Getty
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A quarantine has been placed over home-grown fruit and vegetables in Perth’s south after an adult Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) was found in a suburban backyard.

The potentially destructive pest was detected after a surveillance trap was set two weeks ago in a residential area in Fremantle.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development issued a quarantine area notice on Saturday, covering all non-commercial and home-grown fruit and fruiting vegetables out of Fremantle, parts of East Fremantle, North Fremantle and White Gum Valley.

Residents are being advised to not place untreated fruit or vegetables into compost, give them away or transport them outside the quarantine zone unless they have been cooked or preserved.

Quarantine officers are baiting trees and backyards near where the fly was found.

A major and serious biosecurity threat in the eastern states, Queensland fruit fly is usually seen on the undersides of leaves or on maturing fruit.

The first sign of damage is in larvae “stung” or infested fruit, when eggs are laid into the produce, causing it to rot as the larvae eat it from the inside.

The Fremantle adult female Qfly was caught in one of more than 1900 traps placed across the Perth metropolitan as an early warning against the pest.

It was last detected in WA in 2016, with three previous incursions eradicated from 1989 to 2011.