What worked and didn’t work for prevention of Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF)
Please send us about 200 words on what worked and didn’t work for you. Thanks Greta and Marie-Claire for your contributions!
From Greta in Heidelberg Heights:
This summer QFF infected our nectarines and to a lesser extent our Chinese quince. Nothing else was affected.
Fine mesh bags over fruit were the most effective barrier against QFF and (other animals) in our garden. We found 0% infection in nectarines that were covered with mesh bags and 95% infection in uncovered fruit. I have used these bags for about 5 years and they are still going strong. They can be found readily online.
To mitigate nectarine infection next summer, I have cut back the tree to a more manageable size and will net bag fruit late spring/early summer. Any fruit that cannot be net bagged at this time will be removed.
From Marie-Claire in Macleod:
I put out Wild May and then protein traps in spring but got very little result. My long capsicums proved the most problematic. I put net bags on the early ones and they were fine but the un-netted ones which I picked in April were full of QFF. Next year I will net all my vegies.
From Robin and Paul in Macleod:
We grew tomatoes, eggplants, capsicums, chillies, berries and stone, apple and citrus fruit in the summer and had no QFF at all. However in April we had a few QFF in feijoas and a lot in guava. The feijoa tree was sprayed 3 times with kaolin clay. The guava was left unnetted which we will not do again as last year we did net, and had none.
Our initial strategy was to put out Wild May traps for males in April, followed by Ceratraps (protein traps) in August for males and females and check both traps weekly. We netted the vegies and berries and sprayed the fruit on the fruit trees with kaolin clay which we found easier than netting them. We did have to spray more often that we expected due to heavy rain in spring and summer, and we made a point of covering all sides of each fruit but clearly missed a few! With the citrus, we sprayed the branches as well. This had the added advantage of deterring citrus gall wasp. We did use net bags over some apples, capsicum, chilli and eggplant. QFF rarely attacks eggplant but the net bags meant we had no infestation from the egg caterpillar which enters through the calyx and leaves a poo trail through the flesh. All in all we are very happy with the strategy we adopted and know what to improve for next season!