Your fruit fly questions answered
We've put together a collection of some of our most commonly asked questions, to give you more information about how we fight fruit fly in South Australia.
You can also find important information relating to fruit fly on the following pages:
- Current outbreaks
- Maintaining your home garden
- Planning your trip in South Australia
- How PIRSA detects and responds to fruit fly
- What PIRSA does to prevent fruit fly outbreaks.
If you have a question that we don't have an answer to, please contact our fruit fly hotline on 1300 666 010 for more information.
Outbreak and suspension areas and what they mean
Am I in a fruit fly outbreak or suspension area?
Use the suburb checker to find out if your suburb is in an outbreak or suspension area.
What is an ‘Outbreak Area’? (What can & can’t I do in it?)
A fruit fly outbreak area is a 1.5km radius area from the point of fruit fly detection.
You CANNOT move home-grown fruit/veg on any property within this area, but you can eat, cook or preserve it.
If you live in a fruit fly outbreak area you may get a visit from PIRSA staff (with ID & in orange overalls) who will apply organic bait to your fruit trees and other suitable foliage, please let them into your yard.
What is a ‘Suspension Area’? (What can & can’t I do in it?)
A fruit fly suspension area is a 7.5km radius area from the point of fruit fly detection.
In a fruit fly suspension area, you should reduce or stop the movement of your fresh home-grown fruit or fruiting vegetables from your property within this area, and do not take it outside the suspension area.
The less movement of home-grown fruit, the less risk of potential spread of fruit fly. You can still eat, cook or preserve it.
If you live in a fruit fly suspension area, you are unlikely to get a visit from PIRSA fruit fly baiting staff.
I live in a fruit fly outbreak area, should I pick all the fruit off my trees now?
Good backyard hygiene is important in preventing fruit fly. If you live in an outbreak area, we advise you to pick any unwanted fruit from your trees and either, eating, cooking or preserving it, otherwise, place it in your green bin. It’s also important to pick up any fallen fruit off the ground and placing it in your green bin – this helps break the fruit fly life cycle.
I live in a fruit fly suspension area, should I pick all the fruit off my trees now?
Good backyard hygiene is important in preventing fruit fly. If you live in a suspension area, we advise you to pick any unwanted fruit from your trees and either, eating, cooking or preserving it, otherwise, place it in your green bin. It’s also important to pick up any fallen fruit off the ground and placing it in your green bin – this helps break the fruit fly life cycle.
Reporting and identifying fruit fly and maggots
What should I do if I find fruit fly or maggots on my property?
Seal the item in an airtight container and call the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010 to report it and arrange collection.
How to help fight fruit fly in your home garden
Is it OK to leave rotting fruit in my green bin for two weeks?
Fruit and vegetables placed in your green bin are ok to be picked up fortnightly – make sure you keep the lid closed during this time. We have arrangements with local councils for the organic collections within the outbreak areas so the green waste is appropriately managed.
Is it safe to compost other organic material that has been sprayed with the PIRSA fruit fly bait?
Organic materials that have had bait applied, such as leaf litter and tree branches, are safe to compost. Remember, fruit and vegetables must not be composted – these are to go in your green bin.
Is there anything I can do to trap and kill fruit fly in my garden?
There are many products registered for the control of fruit flies in the home garden, consult your local hardware store or nursery.
If you find any maggots in fruit on your property, please seal the item in an airtight container and call the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010 to report it and arrange collection.
The organic product PIRSA use are oriented to broadscale response applications, but approved for use in residential situations.
Keeping your backyard clean and tidy by picking up fallen fruit and placing unwanted fruit in green bin will help break the fruit fly life cycle.
What about composting. Can we still compost food scraps? Fruit from the shops? Cooked fruit?
In you live in an outbreak area, do not compost your fruit and veg scraps (both home-grown and shop-bought – including raw, unprocessed, uncooked and frozen) – place them in your green bin instead. Cooked fruit and leaf litter can be composted.
Why am I seeing PIRSA fruit fly ads in my Facebook feed when I don’t live in a current fruit fly outbreak area?
It is possible that you may have passed through or are near a fruit fly outbreak or suspension area. The intention of our ads is to inform all South Australians about what to do in a fruit fly outbreak or suspension area.
Baiting fruit fly in outbreak and suspension areas
What spray does PIRSA use to kill fruit fly?
To combat fruit fly we use a certified organic bait, Naturalure, which attracts and kills fruit flies.
Is the PIRSA bait safe for native wildlife?
The certified organic bait is safe for wildlife and specifically attracts fruit flies.
Is the fruit fly bait harmful to plants?
The certified organic bait is safe for fruit trees and should not impact their growth or ability to fruit. Our teams target perennial plants when applying bait and do not need to apply the certified organic bait to soft herbs and annual ornamental plants.
Can I eat fruit that has had PIRSA fruit fly bait sprayed on it?
While it is safe for humans, pets and wildlife, we suggest giving your fruit and vegetables a wash before you eat them.
Where can I find the MSDS for the Fruit Fly bait that PIRSA uses?
You can find information on the Naturalure bait on the Corteva website.
Access to your property during fruit fly outbreaks
How do I make a complaint about baiting staff leaving my gate open?
Please call the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010 to let us know.
Is it possible to get an estimated time for when your staff may be baiting my property?
It is difficult to determine times for property visits, as our planned visits may change due to weather.