Protect your tomatoes from Queensland Fruit Fly

By Simon Ruppert

The Rotary Club of Benalla is ramping up its efforts to protect the area from the Queensland Fruit Fly.

With many backyard veggie patches beginning to yield a variety of fresh produce, the group is keen for the public to ensure it does its bit to discourage the harmful insect from breeding.

Rotary member Bruce Walker said that even though plants such as tomatoes should have been netted to exclude QFF some time ago, if your tomatoes are mostly small and green you can still take action.

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“You should start by installing fruit fly traps in the vicinity of your garden or orchard,” Mr Walker said.

“Traps are available from the Men’s Shed or retail outlets, such as nurseries and hardware shops. You can also make your own quite easily.

“Monitor traps on a weekly basis to determine if you have QFF in you garden or orchard.

“If your tomato plants have small green fruit on them then and you think you have QFF present in your area then the only sure option is to net them immediately.

“There are a number of ways this can be done and regardless of how you decide to do it the most important thing is that the net must be used in such a way that there are no gaps for the fruit fly to get in.

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“Remember QFF are only about 7mm long, so they can get through very small gaps or
hole in nets. Every female is capable of laying up top 200 eggs.”

Mr Walker said that other things to remember at this time of year included:

● remember to pick up and heat treat all fallen fruit every day; and

● pay attention to high-risk fruit, in particular stone fruits, such as apricot, peaches, nectarine and plums.

● If you require any QFF netting, contact the Rotary Club of Benalla via email at [email protected]