In Fear of Fruitfly

Netting for fruitfly

Its fruit fly time again! In order to have a successful harvest of fruit and vegetables gardeners must be smart about managing fruit fly. Understanding the fruit fly life cycle is an important part of implementing plans to stop this pesky fly from spoiling your produce. Many people speak say once they have experienced fruit fly they tend to give up and choose not to grow their own fruit and vegetables; this is such a crying shame. I say “don’t let the fly win.” The benefits of growing your own food by far out way the extra effort it takes to put some strategies in place and stop fruit fly infestation.
August is the time when the Male fruit fly becomes active searching for his mate. The female fruit fly usually emerges about September as the ground begins to warm up. This is our opportunity to separate these little devils and stop them from mating and laying maggots in our produce. Bait for the male in august and try and trap as many as you can. I use a homemade solution but there are many commercial products you can use also, just depends on your personal preference and budget.
Hang your baits in trees around your vege garden. Talk to your neighbours and get them to bait too, building a powerful force field. Replace the bait every three weeks. If the containers start to smell like dead flies the male fruit fly is not going to find is so attractive to enter. The warmer months will find the contents evaporating in the heat top up regularly and keep them going until April. Set up your female traps in September keeping them fresh and topped up. The female is attracted to a yeasty smell. I buy a product called Eco Naturelure and I only need a tsp of product dissolved in some water. By this stage your backyard will be looking like a hangout for plastic containers but it will be worth it. Netting individual plants or particular garden beds which contain highly susceptible varieties such as tomatoes, capsicums and eggplants Is a great idea. I also plant Basil as a companion plant as it’s a really good natural insecticide for repelling fruit fly. At the end of the season I just make lots of Basil pesto and I just love having fresh basil to cook with all season long. Fruit fly control is not just one thing it’s doing a combination of things to stop the cycle.
The dwarf fruit tree industry has many varieties of trees for the residential backyard which still produce full size fruit but only grow up to 2m high. These small trees are very easy to manage and net against fruit fly and promotes people to grow quantities of fruit they can consume without waste or having temptation lying around on the ground. Always pick up excess fruit from the ground and if you suspect fruit fly, bag it and leave lying in the sun before you bin it.

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