Mayor of Murrindindi Shire Council, Charlie Bisset is calling for community volunteers to assist with the research.
“Thanks to funding from Agriculture Victoria, there are free ‘traps’ available for anyone interested in monitoring the presence and number of Queensland Fruit Flies (QFF) in their garden or orchard,” Cr Bisset said.
“These traps contain a pheromone which specifically attracts the male QFF and an insecticide which kills it. The pheromone is species-specific so will not attract other insects.
“As many gardeners know, QFF is an extremely destructive insect which attacks fruit trees and fruiting vegetables, decreasing the plant’s productivity and making its fruit inedible.
“QFF activity generally increases as the weather gets warmer but it isn’t strictly tied to a particular season.
“If you would like to get involved in this project, you can collect a free trap and information sheet from one of our Council offices in Alexandra, Kinglake and Yea, or from the Upper Goulburn Landcare Network office in Yea. You will need to be able to place the trap approximately 1.5 metres from the ground in a tree and be willing to record and share your findings with UGLN and Council.
“It’s really important that you are able to check the trap frequently for the presence of fruit flies. The data collected and reported by volunteers will inform what QFF management initiatives happen in the future,” Cr Bisset added.
The QFF Monitoring Program begins August, however there are limited numbers of traps available.
For more information about the Program, phone Murrindindi Shire Council on (03) 5772 0333 or Judy Watts at UGLN on 0418 595 928.