Fruit fly outbreak in South Australia ‘pest-free’ zone

Updated December 07, 2018 19:28:40

A town in South Australia’s Riverland region, internationally recognised as being pest-free, has had a fruit fly outbreak.

Seven male Queensland fruit flies have been found in the Loxton area. Any more than five male flies is considered an outbreak.

A 1.5-kilometre outbreak area and 15-kilometre suspension area have been established around the detection point and quarantine restrictions apply in the Newton Road area.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said a team of 50 Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) staff had immediately commenced an eradication program aimed at eliminating fruit flies from the outbreak area and nearby surrounds.

“The State Government, industry and community members have run simulated outbreak exercises this year, which has assisted in preparing local people for the roles they need to play in swiftly eradicating this pest from the region,” Mr Whetstone said.

“Sadly this outbreak just shows you how vulnerable we are, particularly with New South Wales and Victoria not having fruit fly strategies in place.

“Internally in the Riverland we’re doing everything we can and emphasising when people travel to the Riverland please leave your fruit and vegetables at home.”