Fruit flies

Pest ranking (Queensland Fruit Fly only) based on the KVH risk matrix

Likelihood of
Likelihood of
Market access
High Low Very low High

Fruit flies are the kiwifruit industry's most unwanted biosecurity threat. Any incursion can severely impact where we sell our fruit. The high risk period for fruit flies is September to June.

The Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF), native to Australia (our closest neighbour), is considered to be the greatest threat and has the most market impacts.

Financial impact of a fruit fly incursion into New Zealand

The financial impact of a fruit fly incursion to New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry is estimated to be between $2 million and $430 million. KVH has produced a short report summarising the financial impacts of different incursion scenarios based on previous fruit fly incursions in New Zealand and overseas and economic modelling by Underwood (2007).

Importation of sterile QFF for research

Plant & Food Research were granted permission in mid-2015 to import sterile QFF into a New Zealand containment facility to develop new attractants for female and male flies.

This long-term project will determine what the flies can smell and whether the odours can be used to improve the sensitivity of traps or increase the numbers of flies lured in. Three approaches are being used; odours based on host fruit, sex pheromones and bacteria.

This research is part of a larger collaborative approach with Australian organisations to manage and eradicate QFF populations. One of these collaborations is the SITPlus partnership, a five year $22 million research and development partnership using Sterile Insect Techniques (SIT).

Supporting these research activities is a SIT facility that can produce 50 million sterile QFF per week as an eradication tool for release in Australia or New Zealand should an established population ever become large enough for this to be required. Read more about the project here.

KVH supports these research activities as an integral component of our readiness activities for the industry’s most unwanted biosecurity threat.

Updates on activities to mitigate the risk and associated consequence of fruit fly can be found here: