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Fun Fact
29 April 2021

100 million …. read that again …. 100 million! That’s approximately how many insects are being used throughout South Australia to help eradicate unwanted fruit flies.

The Riverland region (about three hours’ drive from Adelaide) is ‘under siege’ and battling numerous outbreaks of Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF), which could cost local farmers and communities millions of dollars. In metropolitan Adelaide, as well as QFF, they are battling 10 cases of Mediterranean Fruit Fly outbreaks, covering more than 310 suburbs.

Releasing sterile fruit flies is part of eradication efforts, aimed at ending the life cycle of wild flies.

The technique involves the breeding and sterilisation of male fruit flies with an x-ray before they are released into an area with a wild population. Once the sterile male flies are released in an infested area, they mate with wild female fruit flies which eventually become outnumbered and die out.

Currently, officials are releasing around a few million flies per week as part of a six-week programme which will then be reviewed and increased if needs be.

KVH supports collaborative sterile QFF research activities that are underway between New Zealand and Australia as an integral component of our readiness activities for one of the kiwifruit industry’s most unwanted threats. Read more on our fruit flies web page.

Kiwifruit Vine Health

25 Miro St
Mount Maunganui
Tauranga 3116

Tel:  0800 665 825
Fax: 07 574 7591