Controlling Fruit Fly

​​​​​​​​​Biosecurity Tasmania has an established system for protecting Tasmania from the introduction of pests and diseases.

Biosecurity m​​easures include:
  • Imposing strict requirements for the import of produce before it enters the state
  • Conducting extensive checking on produce as it enters the state
  • Checking passengers, luggage, freight and mail at the border
  • Regularly checking the dedicated trapping network across the state to monitor for the presence of fruit fly.

Existing biosecurity meas​​ures

Biosecurity Tasmania's fruit fly surveillance program comprises a network of around 1,000 fruit fly traps at various risk points, from Dover in the south to the Bass Strait Islands in the north. These pest surveys are ongoing to prove that Tasmania is fruit fly free, and to give Biosecurity Tasmania an early warning of a fruit fly incursion.

There are also legal restrictions on people bringing fruit and vegetables into Tasmania​. In short, people are not allowed to bring fruit or vegetables with them when they come to, or return to, Tasmania. Biosecurity Tasmania ensures everyone coming into Tasmania is fully aware that they may not bring fruit or vegetables with them - and may prosecute those who fail to comply.

Commercial shipments of fruit and vegetables are allowed only if they comply with Biosecurity Tasmania's strict biosecurity requirements (see Plant Biosecurity Manual for import requirements). All fruit and vegetables require special certification from the state of origin. Most imported fruit is subject to appropriate treatments to manage risk of fruit fly entry.

Import requirements apply to all imported host produce, regardless of whether it is grown in an orchard, small acreage or home garden. In fruit fly affected areas on the mainland, fruit fly populations are generally a lot higher in urban home gardens and small blocks than in outlying orchards, where pest control programs are routinely employed. In a fruit fly outbreak, lone fruit trees or vines in an urban backyard and neglected fruit trees or vines on non-commercial smallholdings are a major biosecurity risk. This is especially so if the owner fails to collect and destroy fallen fruit.

Control and eradication measure​s currently in place

In response to the early 2018 incursion of Queensland fruit fly in Tasmania, Biosecurity Tasmania has worked directly with businesses and the community to implement extensive control and eradication activities including:
  • Working with fruit growers and the Australian Government to eradicate fruit fly, and to reinstate our Fruit Fly Free status and unrestricted access to premium markets as soon as possible. The target date for reinstatement of the Fruit Fly Free status, based on the National Fruit Fly Management Protocols, is 9 January 2019 for the Northern Tasmania Control Area, and 20 December 2018 for the Furneaux Group of Islands Control Area.
  • Maintaining Control Area restrictions until the Australian Government has negotiated Fruit Fly Free status of the current Control Areas with our trading partners.
  • Continuing to engage growers, retailers and the community to explain the Control Area restrictions, to remind people of the importance of working together to eradicate the fly, and to provide advice and assistance where possible.
  • Implementing public awareness activities to highlight the importance of maintaining a Fruit Fly Free status and how people can help minimise the risk of further incursions.
  • Monitoring the existing and extended trap network across the state.

      Information about fruit fly detection traps   (909Kb)​

  • Planning and preparing for a rapid re-escalation of eradication activity in the event of any further fruit fly detections.
  • Continuing relevant compliance activity with pre-border requirements and border surveillance.
  • Providing industry funding and support for affected businesses.
  • Surveying thousands of properties.
  • Spot baiting activities in affected areas.
  • Fruit larval surveys.
  • Removing and hygienically disposing of fruit from the Infected Areas and from the quarantine disposal bins around the Control Areas.
  • Attending markets, major events and community activities throughout the Control Areas to engage communities and ensure control actions are implemented.

What you can do to​​​ help

  • Do NOT bring fruit fly host p​roduce into Tasmania. Fines may apply.
  • Be on the lookout for signs of fruit fly​ and report suspect produce to Biosecurity Tasmania on 6165 3774.
  • Do NOT move host produce from inside the Control Area to outside of the Control Area.
  • Obey all signs and use the quarantine disposal bins provided when leaving the Control Areas.​​​

From 1 October some changes to movement restrictions ​apply:

  • ​You CAN move home-grown host produce from your property within the Control Area (including give away or sell), as long as it does not leave the Control Area.
  • If you live within a Control Area you can now compost host produce.
  • Dispose of host produce as normal – double-​​bagging is no longer required - but if you think the fruit might be infested with fruit fly, please contact Biosecurity Tasmania on the Fruit Fly Hotline immediately.



Fruit Fly Hotline
Report any suspected fruit fly to Biosecurity Tasmania
Phone: (03) 6165 3774

Back Home