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So this week, the last week of spring I made a shocking discovery. The fruit fly have arrived here in the subtropics..
I had a over 1kg of san marzano tomatoes that I sat down to process to make some semi dried tomatoes which i was super excited for.. I cracked open the first one and found it loaded with the wriggling larvae.
QLD fruitfly is not to be mistaken for the vinegar flies you see hovering around your compost bin, these guys are nasty and devastating.
We have a bumper crop of tomatoes and I have no doubt the entire crop has now been lost to these guys and to say I am devastated is an understatement
I was way too late getting organised at keeping them away from my fruit, but to be fair they have arrived 2 months earlier than what I had expected.
So how do you deal with fruit fly organically?
Well for me it’s exclusion nets, it worked successfully last year for me. I always just never bother planting fruit over the warmer months, but summer just doesn’t feel like summer without tomatoes.
The traps really only alert you to their presence, and may kill the breeding cycle for a few, but not enough to stop your fruit being stung. If everyone used them maybe but I don’t see that really happening.
Be diligent about the spread of fruit fly
I don’t really see them ever getting under control as we have far too many huge mango trees that would be a breeding ground for them in the depths of summer.
So it then becomes about about managing your own space, protecting your crops and limiting their spread.
Be mindful of how you discard any affected fruit, don’t put them in your compost bin or regular garbage. They’ll just fly out as adults and you haven’t broken the cycle. If you’ve got chickens give them to the chickens – ensuring that all the fruit is eaten right away (don’t overload them). If you don’t have chickens or other animals that are happy to eat fruit full of wrigglers then pop the fruit in a bucket of water and drown the suckers for a few days before adding to your compost bin.