Scientists are calling on farmers to help in the quest for the biological control of the noxious weed, nassella tussock.
Biosecurity NZ confirmed that a fourth male Queensland fruit fly has been found in Northcote and another facialis fruit fly has been found in Ōtara.
The Northcote find is approximately 80 metres inside the current Zone A and no further restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables are required in the suburb.
“Our extensive surveillance programme is continuing including trapping, visual inspection of backyard gardens and fruit trees, and collection and laboratory examination of fallen fruit,” says Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Dr Catherine Duthie.
“To date we have cut and examined around 300kg of fruit in our mobile laboratory, which was gathered from Zone A backyards on the North Shore and almost 500kg in Otara. We have yet to find any fruit fly larvae.”
The Ōtarafind is 630 metres to the north of the last find inside the current Zone B. Another Zone A will be established in Ōtara, which will mean restrictions on a different area. The current Zone B is unchanged.
Duthies urged people living in Ōtarato check if they are living in either zone or what this means for them.
“We will be working closely with the local community to get this information out to people,” she says.
‘Similar controls on the movement of export fruit to those put in place in Northcote will be established in Ōtara. We are working with our horticulture industry partners and expect this to have little, if any, practical impact on fruit exports.”
The instructions for residents inside the Northcote Controlled Areas remain the same.
There have been no further finds of Queensland fruit fly in Devonport since the only find there on February 14, 2019.
“Given the proximity of Devonport to Northcote we will reconsider next week whether we need to continue with movement controls in Devonport,” says Duthie.
"We are very grateful for the support all communities affected by the fruit fly detections have given us.”
Detailed maps of the controlled areas and a full description of the boundaries, and full information about the rules are at biosecurity.govt.nz/fruitfly.