First gathering for 2015: fruit fly a hot topic

Small but distinctive ... and with a huge potential to wreak havoc in the garden. It's a fruit fly.

Small but distinctive … and with a huge potential to wreak havoc in the garden. It’s a fruit fly.

Thanks to those who made it along to our first gathering for 2015 in February. We had an enjoyable evening chatting about summer seed collecting, and many attendees took the opportunity to deposit or take home some seed from our seed bank.

Our discussions as to members’ observations of the recent season in the garden were dominated by comments, questions and reflections on fruit fly (yes again, or is that still?!).

The milder, more humid than average season in the area this summer has suited these pests. Many people said it had been the worst season they’ve experienced. Some members also reported having suffered fruit fly infestation for the first time this year. (And yes, there were a few who escaped them without making an effort, but this number is very seriously dwindling!).

We discussed various approaches to avoiding or dealing with fruit fly, as well as some of the ‘myths’ or misconceptions about them and the surprisingly long list of fruits that can be affected by fruit fly.
And in case you need reassuring, we know how to protect home grown produce from them.

Yet again we heard that members using exclusion nets had the most consistent success at growing fruit fly free. (NB: quite a few of us using nets did get caught out not having all our the nets in place early enough in the season this year. I wrote about my frustration at not protecting my apples sufficiently early and paying the price (see here). However, I’m pleased to confirm that where the nets were on in time (our ‘mini-orchard’) and for our wicking bed summer crops, it was all smiles as I harvested the protected fruits throughout the season.

Our Seed Savers fruit fly information sheet provides more on the hows and whys of exclusion netting for fruit fly, as well as where to source the nets. Please check it out if you’ve taken a hit from fruit fly (or realise that there are fewer and fewer home gardeners locally that are getting away without taking action to avoid it).

With this season still fresh in your mind, now is a great time to plan your efforts to ensure this is one pest you don’t lose fruit to next year.

A less-than-one-minute video of Fruit fly, Albury NSW.

One thought on “First gathering for 2015: fruit fly a hot topic

  1. wondering if you have any home made fruit fly formaulations that work OK?
    I have used some of the long yellow tube sticky things from Bunnings this year in my fig tree,
    They seem to have lots of insects on them – not all the same sort though – but haven’t found to date fruit fly in my fig
    I seem to have two sorts of flys – one slightly bigger with larger wings – maybe the fly in your pictures and one small narrow black fly (when wings folded) only 3mm long. There were lots of these in my nectarines….. and in the other fig tree seems totally infested by them – as yet I haven’t noticed any maggots. Do you know what this may be??
    Thanks
    Janice

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