Auckland's fruit fly scare is over but keep your eyes peeled

The Ministry for Primary Industries monitors for the presence of about 100 species of fruit fly using lure traps. Photo / Dean Purcell
The Ministry for Primary Industries monitors for the presence of about 100 species of fruit fly using lure traps. Photo / Dean Purcell

The fruit fly scare in Auckland is over.

The Ministry for Primary Industries says restrictions on moving fruit and vegetables within Auckland are no longer in place.

However, it is important people still kept an eye out for the Tau fly and other pest fruit fly species.

A single male Tau fly (a breed of fruit fly) was found in a surveillance trap in Manurewa in January. It was the first time a Tau fly had been found in New Zealand.

Tau flies can destruct some horticultural crops, such as pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, capsicum, zucchini, eggplant, beans, papaya, mangoes and passion fruit.

However, it was extremely unlikely the fly would have been able to establish in New Zealand's cool climate.

The Tau fly scare followed the find of a small population of Queensland fruit flies in Auckland's Grey Lynn last February.

About 80 per cent of New Zealand's horticulture crops are susceptible to attack by the Queensland fruit fly.

The Queensland fruit fly was declared eradicated after a 10 month community-wide campaign.

The ministry monitors for the presence of about 100 species of fruit fly using lure traps, as the absence of the flies enables export of fruit and vegetables without treating them.

In the 2014-2015 season, there were 4920 traps in Auckland, of 7651 nationwide.

There have been nine interceptions of economically important fruit flies since 1989.

- NZ Herald

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