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Fruit fly awareness slideshow, refer to transcript for details

Fruit fly video transcript

The sterile insect technique

Integrated pest management is used against outbreaks of fruit fly.

The following questions and answers are designed to explain what the Sterile Insect Technique involves and how it will be used.

How is it used?

In the event of a fruit fly outbreak, Biosecurity SA will apply fruit fly bait to suitable foliage in the outbreak area for several weeks to suppress the adult population of wild flies. Following the bait-spotting program, sterile fruit flies will be released into the outbreak area for about 12 weeks.

How frequently will releases occur?

Releases of 100,000 sterile flies per square kilometre will occur twice a week for up to 12 weeks. Sterile flies have a short life span while fertile females may live for several months. That is why it is important to maintain high numbers of sterile flies in the outbreak area.

Has the sterile insect technique been used in other countries?

Yes. It is currently being used against fruit flies in the USA, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Israel, Jordan and South Africa.

Can I tell the difference between the sterile fruit fly and a 'wild' fruit fly?

No. Only a trained person using laboratory equipment can tell the difference. 

Will any Biosecurity SA staff enter my premises?

Biosecurity SA staff will still need to enter properties during an outbreak to undertake trap surveillance and fruit sampling.

Where can I find more information about the control and eradication of fruit fly?

Sterile fruit fly release program summary (PDF 168.3 KB or DOC 152.0 KB)