Fruit fly found at airport could have been devastating
Fruit fly larvae carried by a tour party leader from Malaysia could have devastated New Zealand's horticulture industry.
Biosecurity officers intercepted the larvae last month in undeclared food from a holiday group at Auckland Airport. The larvae were found in chillies following x-ray screening of the tour leader's baggage. A caterpillar was also detected in some garlic bulbs. The tour leader received a $400 fine for failing to declare the food package.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) says there have been 10 fruit fly interceptions at the border this year and frontline staff are on high alert following recent outbreaks in Adelaide and Tasmania.
Fruit flies are one of the biggest threats to the kiwifruit industry as any incursion can severely impact where we sell our fruit. While it may be possible to find larvae on fruit trees, a better option is to look out for them in fruit, including tree fallen fruit. Be vigilant, keep watch and report any finds or anything else unusual to MPI on 0800 80 99 66 or KVH on 0800 665 825.
Image: the undeclared food infested with fruit fly that was seized at Auckland Airport.