Step 2 – Define and investigate your area: where could flies be?

Look around through an AWM lens – even if the area you are trying to manage is only your own production area. Defining an area to manage is the first step in being able to put an effective plan in place.

Experts tell us that Qfly use a variety of fruits as hosts, and will search across a landscape within a radius between 500 metres and 2 kilometres (and on rare occasions, up to 5 kilometres). Any suitable fruit within these distances can be a potential source of Qfly.

In areas where there are multiple hosts available all year round, Qfly can build up high population densities; so also be sure to look outside your blocks and beyond your orchard. Pay special attention to features of the surrounding landscape – especially other host trees that could be sources for Qfly. You can get a head start by removing unwanted host plants on your own property.

Be aware of when your fruit is susceptible and how this relates to crops around you. Your mid and late season crops could be at risk from early crops because they could harbour fly populations that move on later in the year. Similarly, your early season crops will be more at risk from overwintering flies or those emerging from pupae.

Consider spots where the flies might have been overwintering (such as late-season crops with fruit left on trees, abandoned orchards, or even dense windbreaks around fields) or newly emerged flies from the soil. Keep an eye on nearby urban areas or fruit trees next to farm houses – these can also become sources of flies.

Mapping risk factors such as these this will help inform your next step – monitoring the flies to get a better idea of where and when they are in the landscape. You can also find more examples in the science section (these are for whole regions, but you could replicate them on a smaller scale).

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