Agriculture Victoria scientists are set to trial a new trapping strategy in Victorian vineyards in a bid to control Queensland fruit fly.
The two-year research project will test the effectiveness of an attract-and-kill trapping strategy to manage fruit flies in table grape vineyards.
The insect causes significant damage to fruit crops by stinging fruit (laying eggs) and infecting them with larvae.
The new trap was designed to look and smell like ripe fruit to trick the female flies into landing on a sticky surface.
The project, funded by Agriculture Victoria and Hort Innovation, has shown promise in stone fruit, pome fruit and citrus orchards.
Agriculture Victoria research project lead Paul Cunningham said the trap would help growers in Sunraysia, where Queensland fruit fly populations have escalated.
“This will help protect Victoria’s table grape industry by maintaining production and access to domestic and international markets,” Mr Cunningham said.
“If successful, adoption and integration of a mass trapping strategy using this trap could be seen within three to five years.”
Australian Table Grape Association chief executive officer Jeff Scott said the trial would be beneficial for all industry members.
“Any new technology in mitigating fruit fly would be welcomed by all horticulture industries, but particularly in Sunraysia where numbers are so high,” Mr Scott said.
The project will improve grower and industry knowledge of Queensland fruit fly management in table grapes through workshops and on-farm trials.