How To Maximize Trapping Techniques To Succeed Pest Con...

Trapping is a method that you can use to monitor for fruit fly activity in your home garden. Although trapping can also be used to help reduce fruit fly numbers, it is generally not recommended as a control method alone. This is because trapping only captures some of the adult flies, while others around can still enter your garden and infest your crop.

Fruit fly trouble begins as the weather warms in August. Flies lay their eggs under the skin of ripening fruit, maggots hatch and feed, spoiling the fruit, causing it to rot and drop. Trapping adult flies helps limit the breeding population. There are numerous variations of traps and lures.

The first and most important step when attempting to prevent fruit fly attack is good hygiene. Mature maggots pupate in the soil to remerge as adult flies and collecting infested fruit breaks their lifecycle. Signs that eggs have been laid in fruit are dimples or weeping clear sap on the fruit. Pick these fruit off as well as any damaged and rotting fruit. It’s also important to pick up fallen fruit as soon as it drops before maggots have a chance to escape from the fruit and burrow into the ground to pupate.

To kill maggots, immerse them in a sealed bucket of water for a couple of days or put them in a sealed plastic bag and put it in the sun. If you have chooks, they will appreciate them! Hang two or three traps per tree and change the lure weekly when the pests are active. There are also commercial pheromone traps and effective, certified organic bates available from garden centres for fly control

Use ‘exclusion’ bags to keep fruit safe. There are numerous sized bags available depending on the type of fruit you want to protect, and most are re-usable. The bags also keep birds out as well as protect the fruit from sunburn.

Josh Byrne says, “We all need to be vigilant to keep fruit fly under control because neglected trees become a neighbourhood problem.


  • Helps you determine whether fruit flies are present in your garden
  • Alerts you to the start of the fruit fly season and the need to start control
  • Useful for evaluating the impact of your cover spray or baiting program
  • Relatively easy to use and maintain
  • Relatively low cost with the option of buying or making your own
  • Depending on the trap, some only target fruit flies and not beneficial insects
  • May help reduce adult fly numbers and crop damage if a many traps are used

What makes it right for you?

Fruit fly trapping will be suited to you if you:

  • are trying to determine the presence of fruit fly in your home garden
  • live in an area prone to fruit fly attack and want to gauge the effectiveness of your cover spray or baiting programs in your garden
  • are physically able and willing to place and maintain traps in or around trees
  • live in a relatively isolated, low fruit fly pressure area and want to use traps as primarily a control method

Factors affecting success

  • Correct interpretation of trap catches in relation to control needs
  • Usage of the right type of trap for the fruit fly species present in your area
  • Proper placement, monitoring and maintenance of traps in your trees and garden
  • For control purposes using traps, the length of time you trap, the number of traps you use, and the proximity of other sources of fruit fly infestations around your property

Go to main page Pest Control Auckland for more insights and reliable assistance on the job

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