Biosecurity Alert

19 February 2019

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Fruit Fly response - information for NZPPI members

MPI has advised today that a second fruit fly has been found in the Auckland region. These finds are unrelated.

  • On 14 February a Queensland fruit fly was found in Devonport.
  • On 18 February a facialis fruit fly was found in Otara.

Both finds are being managed by Biosecurity New Zealand as a level 1 response, which includes localised restrictions.

MPI has established movement controls for potential fruit fly host material. However, if more flies are found at either location a ‘Response Level 2’ would begin, which involves an eradication programme.

Fruit fly control areas have 2 zones. Zone A extends 200 metres from the site of initial detection. Zone B extends out to a radius of 1500m from the initial detection point.

  • Baits will be place in fruiting trees to attract and kill female fruit flies.
  • The response team will apply pyrethroid-based insecticide spraying under fruiting trees.

MPI is leading the response alongside its GIA partners, Kiwifruit Vine Health, NZ Apples & Pears, Summerfruit NZ, Avocado Industry Council, NZ Citrus Growers, Hort NZ, Tomatoes NZ.

NZPPI works with this group, as a member of the Fruit Fly and BMSB Council, which plans for these types of biosecurity events.

NZPPI is proposing to join GIA – Government Industry Agreements for Biosecurity Readiness and Response – which will enable us to be part of the decision making group in future biosecurity events.

Implications for nurseries

There are no nurseries within the controlled areas, however, if further flies are found nursery businesses may be impacted through movement restrictions. NZPPI is preparing for this situation and to work with MPI to ensure the minimum necessary restrictions are applied.

Our industry has a supporting role to play in surveillance and to assist with getting key messages out to the gardening public.

Further background about Fruit Fly and the Controlled Area Notice

Fruit flies belong to the family Tephritidae, which includes over 4,500 species, most of which are not pests. Queensland fruit fly is one of the most damaging fruit fly pests as it infests more than 100 species of fruit and vegetables. Hosts include commercial crops such as avocado, citrus, feijoa, grape, peppers, persimmon, pipfruit, kiwifruit and stonefruit.

If fruit fly were to establish here, it would have serious consequences for New Zealand’s horticultural industry and for home gardeners as fruit becomes infested with fruit fly maggots.

Further information on fruit flies, including fact sheets, brochures for the public and updates, is provided on the MPI website at:

Matthew Dolan, CE NZPPI ( 0276 229255)

Queensland Fruit Fly (Bactrocera tryoni)

You will likely be aware that on 14 February a single male Queensland fruit fly was found in a surveillance trap in Devonport. There have been only five previous detections over the last decade and Biosecurity New Zealand have extensive experience dealing with this type of situation.

There are currently more than 60 people working in Auckland and Biosecurity New Zealand’s mobile field laboratory is operating from the Devonport Naval Base in an attempt to identify signs of fruit fly and larvae.

Queensland fruit flies spoil a wide variety of horticultural crops. They are difficult to capture at the border because they can arrive as eggs of tiny larvae concealed inside fruit. Please contact NZPPI if you would like to receive further updates about the Queensland fruit fly detection in Devonport.

New species of fruit fly found

This afternoon Biosecurity New Zealand announced the finding of Bactrocera facialis (the “facialis fruit fly”) in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Otara.

No further facialis fruit flies have been found and at this stage there is no indication there is an incursion of facialis here. It is a tropical fruit fly species so New Zealand’s climate may not provide an ideal home for it.

More traps are being set to find out if it is a lone specimen.

This fly is a different species to the Queensland fruit fly and the detection is not related to the current Devonport situation.

Biosecurity New Zealand (a division of MPI) has declared a Controlled Area around the location where the facialis fly was trapped. Residents in the Otara area can find full information about what they need to do at:

The restrictions are the same as with the Devonport Queensland fruit fly - whole fresh fruit and vegetables (except for leafy vegetables and root vegetables) cannot be moved outside of the A Zone of the Controlled Area. This is the area that extends 200m out from where the fly was found. Home-grown vegetables cannot be moved out of a wider B Zone.

If there are no further detections, the operation is expected to last two to three weeks.

Detailed maps of the controlled area and a full description of the boundaries, and full information about the rules can be found from the link above.

Any questions please contact:

©2019 NZPPI
New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated
PO Box 3443, Wellington 6140
Level 5, 23 Waring Taylor Street, Wellington
P: 04 918 3511 | F: 04 499 9589
E: | W:





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