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Reducing fruit fly risk starts with good hygiene practice


Good farm hygiene practices to reduce the risk of Queensland Fruit Fly (Qfly) are particularly important at harvest, advises Queensland Fruit Fly Regional Coordinator Yarra Valley Bronwyn Koll.

Bronwyn said the increased traffic of people on and off and between farms at harvest could contribute to the spread of fruit fly, and outbreaks posed a very real risk to an apple and pear business if not properly addressed and managed.

Taking steps to clean up the orchard to reduce the risk of fruit fly could deliver additional benefits in reducing exposure to other orchard pathogens such as blackspot.

Fruit damaged by Queensland Fruit Fly. Picture: Elizabeth Mace, GV Crop Protection

Bronwyn is employed by Agribusiness Yarra Valley as the Yarra Valley QFF Coordinator under the  $6.7 million Managing Fruit Fly – Regional Grants Program. The state program provides a coordinated and collaborative approach to fruit fly management across the Greater Sunraysia, the Yarra Valley and the Goulburn Murray Valley.

“Harvest is a time for increased vigilance on farm hygiene, property biosecurity, use of traps, increased fruit inspections, and bait spraying options,” she said.

Hygiene and Biosecurity steps to consider include:

  • timely harvest of all fruit– including commercial crops, garden hosts and other fruiting hosts in/on/around the property
  • satisfactory disposal of all collected waste fruit that ensures no larval survival (if by chance QFF are present). Including packhouse waste.
    eg. cold storage (2 weeks at 0.5 degrees C is the minimum for apples), freezing, boiling, solarising, deep burial below 1m with compacted soil, investigate maceration and desiccation options, stock feed.
  • removal or destruction of fallen fruit and fruit left after the main harvest
    eg. destroy fruit in the paddock with sweepers, mulchers and rollers etc
    (also see above for treatment options)
  • ensuring fruit from unknown or unreliable sources is NOT bought onto the property – this includes;
    • commercial fruit,
    • labourer’s and tourist’s lunches etc. (**perhaps a central lunch spot with contained rubbish facilities to prevent infested fruit waste thrown into the production area)
    • domestic fruit purchases made by people living on the property

Bronwyn said as well as increased orchard hygiene, increased inspection of fruit approaching harvest was a must.

If using bait and QFF traps, growers are encouraged to seek the professional advice of their agronomist. All corrective actions taken by a grower should be recorded and able to be provided to the regional coordinator.


Yarra Valley grower Qfly Fruit Tour – Yarra Valley growers interested in joining a tour on Friday, March 9, to the Goulburn Valley to view fruit fly management approaches should contact Bronwyn Koll at

Qfly tour brochure


Further information:

Bronwyn Koll,  Queensland Fruit Fly Regional Coordinator Yarra Valley.

Phone: 0490 381 999 Email:

Useful links:

Agriculture Victoria – Queensland Fruit Fly

Fruit Growers Victoria (FGV) – technical advice and online resources

Keep the Yarra Valley Fruit Fly Free

National Fruit Fly Council

Biosecurity Tasmania – updates on recent detection and general fruit fly information

NSW Dept Primary Industries

QLD Dept of Agriculture and Fisheries

WA Dept of Primary Industries and Regional Development 

Primary Industries and Regions SA


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