Efforts to control the fruit fly outbreaks in metropolitan Adelaide are increasing, with up to 20 million sterile fruit flies per week being released this spring, and trials of 4,000 ‘FreeDome’lures from Israel-based company Biofeed deployed. FreeDomes use a chemical formula to attract, feed, and kill fruit flies.

In addition, PIRSA has released a new fruit fly outbreak resource kit to help the public understand what they need to do to help eradicate fruit fly.

PIRSA expects fruit flies in the 18 outbreak areas across South Australia to become active again as the weather warms up.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said sterile flies will be released from a low flying plane each week between 1 September and the end of the year.

“Sterile male fruit flies seek out female fruit flies in outbreak areas, mating with them so they can’t reproduce and therefore breaking the life cycle,” Minister Basham said.

“As well as from a plane, our biosecurity officers are releasing up to six million sterile fruit flies in Adelaide each week on the ground.

“Overwhelming the wild population with our sterile flies will stop them breeding – and now is the time, before the weather really warms up and the flies become more active.”

Meanwhile, this spring in South Australia is the first time FreeDomelures have been used in Australia.

“Some residents will start to see the yellow panels of the FreeDomelures appear in their gardens – they are very safe, but please don’t interfere with them, just let the lures do their job,” Minister Basham said.

“In addition to placement across Adelaide backyards, ‘FreeDome’ lures will be trialled by our fruit fly entomologists at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) to scientifically test them in a controlled environment.”

More fruit fly news for industry will be issued in due course.