Controlling Queensland fruit fly on orchards and farms

It's important to protect your orchard from Queensland fruit fly (QFF). If not controlled, QFF can destroy crops.

Here are some approaches you can take to control fruit fly.

Practise good on-farm hygiene

To reduce the risk of attracting QFF to your orchard:

  • collect and destroy any rotting, overripe or unwanted host produce, whether it is on the ground or still on the tree
  • remove any unwanted or neglected QFF host produce trees
  • regularly inspect produce (even if it looks unaffected) by cutting open fruit and checking for QFF larvae

Use traps and lures to monitor fly activity

You can monitor adult QFF activity by using traps containing synthetic sex pheromone attractants or food lures.

The most commonly used sex pheromone attractant (or lure) is Cuelure, which attracts and kills only male QFF. A wide range of food lure traps are also available, which attract both sexes of QFF.

To use traps and lures:

  1. Place traps in the shade of the canopy of host trees.
  2. Check the contents on a weekly basis during the warmer months and fortnightly during the winter months.

Use baits to kill flies

You can use baits to reduce QFF numbers on your farm. Baits are made up of a protein attractant mixed with an insecticide, and are usually spot-sprayed onto the trunks or foliage of both host and non-host trees.

Adult flies are attracted to the bait as a food source and are killed by the insecticide.

You can purchase QFF baits from a local chemical reseller.

Protect produce with cover spraying

Cover spraying can be used to directly control adult QFF on contact, and some systemic chemicals also destroy eggs and larvae within fruit. You can help to protect produce from QFF infestations with the combination of an early season baiting program followed by cover spray treatments.

Late in the season you might also spray fallen fruit and fruit that won't be harvested to manage QFF infestations.

Use chemicals responsibly

Alway apply chemicals according to the directions on the product label or an Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority Chemical Permit.

Manage the impact of neglected horticultural properties

If you're being impacted by a neighbouring neglected orchard or vineyard, contact the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

Your case will be assessed by one of our officers. If a declared pest or disease is confirmed, the site might be considered for compliance action under section 25 of the Plant Biosecurity Act 2010.

Page last updated: 22 Jan 2021