Tuesday 9th Mar, 2021

South Australia begins fruit fly blitz

The South Australian Government is coordinating an emergency response to remove ripe fruit and vegetables at risk of hosting fruit flies.

Around 1500 properties in fruit fly hotspot areas of Prospect and Stepney will be asked to remove at risk fruit and vegetables from trees and plants as soon as possible.

The action will help protect the $1.3 billion South Australian horticulture industry that is at risk from fruit fly, representing 37,500 jobs and around 4000 businesses.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said a significant rise in fruit fly detections in Prospect and Stepney means the State Government must act quickly.

“We are committed to protecting our $1.3 billion horticulture industry that is at risk from fruit fly which supports thousands of jobs and businesses across South Australia,” Basham said.

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“This week we will begin a blitz in selected areas of Prospect and Stepney, door-knocking around 1500 households in these identified hot-spot areas to help remove at-risk fruit and vegetables from home gardens.

“In an effort to reduce the risk of fruit fly spreading further we are asking residents to pick all their ripe summer fruit and vegetables from trees and plants as soon as possible, and our authorised Primary Industries and Regions staff will be seeking entry to properties to assist in removing at-risk produce.”

Basham said there has been a steep rise in fruit fly detections in these areas last week and this is an emergency response to step up our eradication activities.

“The public have been extremely helpful during our eradication efforts so far and we are asking everyone who is contacted to give these authorised staff access to your garden so they can complete their work and remove at-risk produce,” Basham said.

“Nobody wants a maggot in their fruit – South Australia has an enviable fruit fly free status that is valued not only in our lucrative overseas export markets, but also every time you step into your backyard and pick fruit off your tree untouched by fruit fly.

“We cannot let this pest take hold – we have to get the fruit before the fruit fly does.”