Fruit fly treated before arrival

31 May 2018

An Auckland Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) biosecurity officer recently detected suspected fruit fly eggs and larvae when inspecting a breadfruit consignment from Fiji.

Spotting a tell-tale soft spot on the fruit, the officer decided to investigate further by opening up the breadfruit for inspection. The fruit fly was dead. The MPI laboratory revealed the consignment had been heat treated in Fiji, removing the biosecurity risk. The consignment was later released.

Fruit flies are considered the greatest biosecurity threat to the kiwifruit industry, as incursions can severely impact where we sell our fruit and have significant impacts on grower’s OGR.

Fruit fly incursions in Tasmania have already cost $5.5million AUD with another $8million budgeted for this financial year, and a further $20million contribution from the Australian Federal Government towards response activities.

We’re just now coming to the end of the high-risk season for fruit fly. Continue to be vigilant and keep watch. While it may be possible to find on fruit trees if present, a better option is to look out for any larvae in fruit, including fruit that has fallen from trees.

If you hear of someone that has accidently bought fruit or vegetables into New Zealand make sure it is reported to MPI and then appropriately destroyed (bagged and put in the rubbish is the best way, not composted).