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Gardeners in town of Carnarvon offered free fruit fly trap

Carnarvon residents are invited to register their interest in receiving a free Maxitrap for controlling Mediterranean fruit fly. Image provided by the WA Government

Carnarvon residents are invited to register their interest in receiving free Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) traps to protect their fruit trees.

The traps will be provided by the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development as part of a project to pilot the eradication of Medfly from Carnarvon.

Agriculture technical officer Amber Balfour-Cunningham said Medfly was a serious pest for cultivated fruits and some vegetables and eradication would reduce grower costs and increase market access.

“The Department’s Medfly project uses a combination of area-wide foliar baiting, sterile insect technology, trapping, regulatory compliance measures and community engagement to reduce the Medfly population in the region,” Ms Balfour-Cunningham said.

“Residents who install free traps in their garden will be contributing to the success of the Carnarvon Medfly eradication program.

“Sterile male Medfly have been released in small numbers in the region in an attempt to break the Medfly breeding cycle.

“The effectiveness of the sterile Medfly release program will be greatly enhanced by the involvement of residents in trapping to reduce the existing number of Medfly in and around town.

“We are encouraging residents who have fruit trees in their garden to register for the free traps to help reduce the number of fruit flies in their yard and assist the broader eradication effort.”

The new Maxitrap Medfly traps that are currently being offered use a biolure which emits an odour that attracts Medfly and make them more effective than traps previously issued to Carnarvon residents.

Once inside the trap, the Medfly are killed by a piece of strip that contains a small amount of pesticide. A pesticide-free version of the trap is available to residents upon request.

The traps are effective for three to six months and are most useful if they are installed in fruit trees when the fruit is about one third of its expected final size.

Suitable trees include mangoes, citrus (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, kumquat, pomelo), fig, avocado, pawpaw, guava, sapote, and stone fruit (nectarine, peach, olive).

By placing one trap in each fruit tree, and by picking up and disposing of unwanted fruit, residents will help Medfly eradication efforts in Carnarvon.

The project is part of the department’s Boosting Biosecurity Defences project supported by Royalties for Regions, Horticulture Innovation Australia, the Carnarvon Growers Association and the Shire of Carnarvon.

Carnarvon’s commercial horticulture industries are worth about $80 million a year.

Source: WA Government

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