QFF - Australian home gardeners experience

16 April 2015

Its well-known the Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) is a significant threat to New Zealand’s horticultural industry. However, it would also be a huge problem for home and hobby gardeners who enjoy growing fruit for their own use.

Female QFFs lay eggs under the skin of ripening fruit. These eggs hatch into white maggots that live and feed in the fruit for 7-12 days causing the fruit to rot from the inside.

Home gardeners in Australia have been living with the fruit fly for many years. In most Australian states and territories, fruit fly control is now the responsibility of every backyard gardener. These ongoing controls can include sanitisation, spraying, baiting, trapping and covering plants and are costly in terms of time, money and effort.

The number of websites and Youtube clips dedicated to teaching backyard growers’ about best-practice management and controlling fruit fly is indicative of the problem it has become in Australia.

  • Click here to watch a short Youtube clip by a gardener showing a QFF laying eggs into a cucumber and the resulting damage to fruit.
  • Click here to see images of QFF affected fruit.

The QFF is described as the bane of Australian gardeners’ and growers’ lives and it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep it out of New Zealand.

Also see: www.preventfruitfly.com.au which is sponsored by the National Fruit Fly Strategy.

Lara Harrison, KVH Communications