There is one gardening job I hate.
I don’t have too many pests to deal with. One year I had these odd insects that jumped like fleas. I can’t remember what they were called. Another year I had so many cane toads they dug up my seedlings. That made me squeamish. I deal with or ignore each problem as it arises.
There is one pest I can never take my attention from. The bloody painful annoying (much swearing) Queensland Fruit Fly. This is not the fruit fly that buzzes around your fruit bowl. That might actually be a gnat. Qld Fruit Fly are the devil in disguise.
These little critters lay their eggs in under the skin of the fruit and instead of eating it you will be chucking your maggot ridden produce away.
I have found there is no single way to deal with Qld Fruit Fly. Here are a number of choices. A combination of these is most effective.
ONE: Don’t grow it – I concentrate on growing fruit and veg that are resistant to fruit fly.
For example, I only grow cherry tomatoes because for some reason fruit fly ignores them. I find passionfruit, avocados, custard apples, paw-paw, bananas are fine.
When it comes to citrus they leave the lime alone, sting the oranges (but they are still ok to juice if you get them early enough) and love the lemonade. I think the trick is to choose thicker skinned citrus.
TWO: Exclusion netting – I am new to netting.
Stone fruit is especially susceptible to Qld Fruit Fly. I didn’t think of this when we planted two peaches and a plum. I tried traps and spraying but I still didn’t get edible fruit.
I got so disheartened I resorted to DON’T GROW IT and cut down a peach. The other peach had blown over in a storm…but the plum – it looked so pretty and it was covered in flowers…so I invested in a tree net. This was not cheap. I am so very very happy with the outcome. In a week life will be plum.
I will be getting a couple more tree nets. The remnants of the blown over peach may be allowed to live and the strange fruit salad tree might get a net too.
THREE: Traps and spraying – I also grow mangoes. Qld Fruit Fly love mangoes very much. I love mangoes very much.
I persevere growing mangoes despite the fruit fly because homegrown mangoes are incredibly better than store-bought ones.
Early in the season when the trees are in flower I set some Cera Traps. This is the first step. Traps on their own do not seem to be enough. When the fruit forms I should spray them once a week. THIS is the one gardening job I hate. It is worse than killing cane toads. I feel so dirty afterwards. Not dirty in a luxurious muddy way. Dirty in a is that chemical in my lungs way.
This year, for the first time, I am using Naturalure Fruit Fly Bait so I don’t have to spray the whole tree. I started a bit late but I had my traps out nice and early so fingers crossed.
FOUR: Field Hygiene – I love this term. I should be more diligent about doing it. Get the stung fruit, put it in a plastic bag and throw it away.
Fallen fruit is like a fly metropolis. Field hygiene is like genocide. Do it.
I buy my nets and traps and sprays online from Green Harvest. They did not pay me to say that. They do not even know me. They deliver quickly and more importantly, they understand gardening in Queensland.