Feature

Organic fruit fly treatment

Green Lifestyle magazine

Don’t let fruit flies reduce the yield in your vegie patch: use these natural pest treatments.

fruit-fly

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It’s disappointing when fruit flies ruin a ripening crop of tomatoes or fruit, but there are ways of preventing and minimising damage.

In order to tackle this pest, it's important to know a little about it's lifecycle. The reason why fruit flies are a problem is because the female fruit flies lay their eggs on or under the skin of ripening fruit, including that which has dropped on the ground.

If you live in a fruit fly prone area, here’s what you can do to minimise the risk of losing a crop:

- keep trees compact to make pest management easier;

- be vigilant in picking up fallen fruit;

- encourage neighbours to be vigilant too as their fruit flies will be your fruit flies;

- seal infected fruit in a plastic bag and leave in the sun for a couple of weeks to kill all maggots, and;

- plant early ripening varieties as they’ll be less susceptible to these pests.

As a preventative action, you could try exclusion bags or nets to stop the insects landing on the fruit. Green Harvest has good ones (www.greenharvest.com.au).

You could also try the eco organic garden product, eco-naturalure (www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au) a registered organic bait spray for both male and female of the common Queensland and Mediterranean fruit flies. This involves applying a bacterial insecticide called spinosad to the trunks or foliage of your plants.