Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday.

More fly traps set for Tau fly

MPI Staff in setting traps in Manurewa after the discovery of a Tau Fly. Photo / Supplied
MPI Staff in setting traps in Manurewa after the discovery of a Tau Fly. Photo / Supplied

An additional 95 traps will be set around Auckland this week by the Ministry of Primary Industries following the discovery of a single male Tau fly on Thursday.

"We are working to find out if there are more flies out there, Brendan Gould, MPI's manager of surveillance and incursion investigation, said. "Within 48 hours of the detection our teams will have set out 95 additional traps in the A Zone, the 200m area directly around where the fly was found in Manurewa."

The find of the single fly demonstrates how well MPI's lure-based surveillance trapping network is working, Mr Gould believed. The network involves about 7,600 traps set nationwide which are checked regularly.

Controls are now in place to restrict the movement of some fruit and vegetables outside of a defined circular area extending 1.5km from where the fly was trapped.

"These flies like to feed on pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, capsicum, zucchini, beans, mangoes, eggplant, papaya and passionfruit," Mr Gould said.

"A full list of affected fruit and vegetables is available on MPI's website.

"We are asking people in the area to not move these off their property except to put them in the disposal bins provided."

Tomorrow the Farmers Market at the corner of Northcrest Way and Maich Rd, Manurewa, will be running as usual but there will be restrictions in place on the movement of fruit and veg the Tau fly feeds on.

"We appreciate that restrictions can be inconvenient but public support is vital to success and we've always had terrific community buy-in," Mr Gould added.

To find out whether your property falls within the Control Area, visit the MPI website www.mpi.govt.nz/tau-fly and enter your street address into their online search function.

If you think you might have seen a Tau fly in your area, please call the Ministry for Primary Industries helpline on 0800 80 99 66.

For more information, including a map of the controlled areas visit www.mpi.govt.nz/tau-fly

- NZ Herald

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