By Radio New Zealand
In total, five fruit flies have been found – three Queensland fruit flies and two Facialis fruit flies, which are native to Tonga, have been found in Ōtara.
The latest find was in what is known as Zone A and was 113 metres from where the first Queensland fruit fly was found, Biosecurity New Zealand said in a statement.
A significant trapping programme has been in operation on Auckland’s North Shore since the first Queensland fruit fly was discovered in Devonport on 14 February.
All traps on the North Shore have been checked. The traps in Zone A are checked daily for the first seven days after the find.
“This latest detection is further evidence that our surveillance programme is working and it is pleasing we still have no indication of an established breeding population,” Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Dr Catherine Duthie said.
She said the three Queensland fruitflies, which were all males, could have come from the same piece of discarded fruit and the focus would now be on checking fruit for a breeding population.
“Our trapping and surveillance has been enhanced and this programme will find any further flies in the area.”
Biosecurity New Zealand has 140 staff, contractors and industry partners working on the response.
In addition to the trapping, they are collecting fruit from backyards in Zone A and checking it for larvae. More than 300kg of fruit have been inspected in a mobile laboratory, with no detections to date.
As the movement of fruit and vegetables from Zones A and B is restricted, staff and contractors are continuing to collect disposal bins for processing. Nearly three tonnes of fruit and vegetable waste has been collected from the three suburbs affected – the normal amount of fruit and vegetable waste in these areas.
Instead of putting waste in rubbish bins to be disposed of normally, the waste is being put into the special response bins for Biosecurity New Zealand to dispose of securely.
At the weekend, Biosecurity had a strong presence at the Ōtara Market, supported by community leaders, educating the public about the facialis fruit fly found in the suburb.
“The response and support from the public there was amazing, as it has been in Devonport and Northcote too,” said Dr Duthie.
“This is critical as we need the whole community to pull together on this type of biosecurity response.”
This article is republished under Kaniva’s partnership content agreement with Radio New Zealand.