Mon 26 Jan 2015
Fruit Fly Hosts
Hannah Trow and her mother found a seed weevil living in a mango they bought from a store in Marton, Newzealand. The find raised biosecurity concerns, with Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Peter Silcock, claiming that “mangoes are a potential host for fruit flies.”
While the Ministry of Primary Industries in New Zealand has confirmed that more cases of foreign insect pests in imported mangoes since a 10-year-old girl’s discovery have come to light, there is no cause for panic. According to the MIP, “the mango Hannah found the weevil in would have been irradiated by Australian authorities before entering the country. The finding of a different insect is not a reason to have concerns regarding fruit flies. After irradiation, adult weevils can survive but would be sterile.”
Since ONE News aired the story, more complaints have surfaced. However, the Ministry claims it receives a “dozen calls” regarding Australian mango seed weevils each year and remains confident in the biosecurity measures in place for stopping fruit fly outbreaks.
Fruit Fly Outbreaks in your home
Ceratitis capitata, the Mediterranean fruit fly, is capable of causing extensive damage to a variety of of fruit crops. Native to the Mediterranean, it has spread to across the world to Australia, North and South America. In 2011, Japan banned blueberry imports from Australia over concerns that the fruit could be contaminated by Mediterranean fruit flies.
Fertilized fruit flies lay eggs on or inside damaged or overripe fruit. These sanitary efforts can be taken to prevent fruit fly infestation.
- Refrigerate and limit access to any fruit or vegetables within your home.
- Vigorously clean all food preparation areas, including counters and tabletops.
If the fruit fly infestation does not die out several weeks after employing these methods, they have probably located another place to lay their eggs. To locate them and eliminate them,
- Make sure that trash cans are clean and fitted with airtight lids.
- Search for areas likely to harbor fruit flies such as cupboards, pantries and other food storage areas.
- Observe drains that may be coated with sticky debris.
- Bacteria-eating rinses may be employed to clean soiled drains.