Many people have come into Beaudesert Hardware and asked for a poison to control fruit flies but all of the poison sprays that were once available are banned or require a chemical licence to buy them, so what are the alternatives?
Pheromone traps like Searles Fruit Fly Trap that have a bait coupled with an insecticide that lures male fruit flies to the trap where they are poisoned have been around for several years. By regular monitoring of the traps we can get an idea of how many fruit flies are active and by killing the males the population is reduced. The traps are yellow to help attract fruit flies and keep the rain off the bait while allowing flies easy access. The baits are effective for three months and we stock replacement baits.
More recently food attractant baits with spinosad as a poison such as Natralure or Natures Way Fruit Fly Control have been approved for sale. These baits attract both sexes of fruit fly and spinosad is not poisonous to humans, however the baits need to be replaced weekly or after rain. It is recommended that the mixture is sprayed on the leaves, branches, trunk or on a board near the trees but not directly on the fruit.
Exclusion netting is another option, it works by creating a physical barrier around individual fruit or the whole tree so the fruit flies can’t sting the fruit. If you cover the whole tree tie the netting to the trunk, don’t peg it to the ground as fruit flies as fruit fly eggs may be in the foil and then hatch inside the net. The netting is a durable plastic and will last several seasons with careful use.
This year I will be continuing my year round use of pheromone traps to keep the population down and I will be trialing an old Searles Fruit Fly Trap with the pheromone bait removed, in it’s place I will use some Natures Way Fruit Fly Control inside the trap. This will keep the bait dry so it remains effective against both sexes of fruit fly. By combining the two different types of traps I hope to get some good
sting free fruit this summer.
If you have any further questions regarding fruit fly control please come in to Beaudesert Hardware and have a chat about it with our garden staff.