Fruit Fly's - Breaking the fruit fly cycle

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Joe, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. Joe

    Joe Guest

    Climat: Sub tropics Australia
    First, this years citrus crop (12 trees ) was a non event. Lots of fruits but almost all badly affected by fruit fly's, unlike last year. A friend of ours said he had the same problem some years back, till he cut down all his guava trees. Is there a connection in your opinion?
    Further have you got any green suggestions on breaking the fruit fly cycle, our chickens barely touch fallen fruit.
     
  2. Jeff Nugent

    Jeff Nugent Junior Member

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    Insufficient data Joe. Where are you, tropics, sub tropics, temperate, City with neighbours or isolated farm, what fruit fly Mediterranean or other?
    Med fruit fly can have it's cycle broken by cleaning up all the fallen fruit. Chooks are a great agent for doing this. If you've got hundreds of sloppy neighbours though you are sure to get their flies as well. Guava fruits late in the season and can overwinter them.
    I'd go chooks before cutting down guavas personally.
    There are also very simple traps you can make by cutting the top off a plastic soft drink bottle, then putting it back so that the top protrudes into the base. Tape it back and pour a solution of sugar or best is Vegemite (DickSmithMite could work too?). They go down the funnel to get in and can't find their way out.
    Just hang them in the trees can make a big difference.
     
  3. Joe

    Joe Guest

    Thanks for your reply Jeff.
    First our climate: Airlie Beach, Whitsunday’s, subtropical climate, but we are situated in a rain shadow area and receive only half the average rainfall typically of the area. Our nearest neighbor (with Fruit trees) is about 300m away.
    Regarding the chooks, we have 5 of them, all very fuzzy eaters - much like teenagers, they rarely touch guavas and don’t even look at the citrus fruits.
    According to the local nursery we have the tropical fruit fly.
    What really puzzles me is, last year we had plenty of fruit (Cherry and common Guavas, Star fruits and Citrus fruits) only about 10% affected by fruit fly’s. This year we had about double the quantity of fruit on our trees but with the exception of Lemonades ALL were heavily (~fifty stings per fruit, citrus) stung, presumably by fruit fly’s. We will definitely use traps from now onwards. Nonetheless, is there another feathered species that perhaps is a bit more fallen fruit orientated?
     
  4. Mont

    Mont Junior Member

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    Joe, I found this item on a Sydney-based permaculture forum. You may like to ring the contact to see if you can get an opinion from 'the fruit fly guru'!

    Mont

    [ecoliving-permaculture] The Fruit Fly King comes to Earthcare
    Cameron Little [email:d1o2mpgb][email protected][/email:d1o2mpgb]
    Mon, 10 Mar 2003 16:26:50 +1000
    Attention all backyard growers, please come along or spread the word to
    other interested people...this is your chance to learn how to beat one of the worst pests in agriculture... the dreaded FRUIT FLY.
    A practical and interactive workshop by fruit fly guru Andrew Jessup (NSW Ag.) at the EARTHCARE Centre, UWS Hawkesbury (Cnr Campus Dve and Science Rd)
    this Saturday, 15th March.
    Bookings essential - ring now Eric Brocken 45
    678 424 or 0438 731 712.


    :p :p
     
  5. Chook Nut

    Chook Nut Junior Member

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    Hi all,

    First time poster here..... i've come to learn and share what little i know!

    I get fruit fly from next doors Mango tree.... that hasn't deterred me from planting Guavas and quite a few other tropical fruits. (I live on the south side of Brisbane, or Brisvegas as i like to call it).

    I am replying b/c what i do to try to keep the fruit fly down is to feed the fallen fruit to my New Hampshire chooks, but like yours are fussy eaters so i end up burying most of mine in a trench compost to keep the flies away. I try to feed next doors chooks which are an Indian variety and they go beserk over fruit, but they get most of the fallen Mangoes on their side of the boundary fence anyway.

    You may want to consider getting a different kind of chook when it comes time to replace your current ones as part of the solution. I have got a few worm farms also that help.

    Cheers
    Dave
     
  6. Jeff Nugent

    Jeff Nugent Junior Member

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    Yea, go more chooks. Sometimes you just need to introduce a few birds which are aggressive feeders. The old flock get the idea. Chook Nut is right though, some birds are just better at it. Look around and ask around. Someone will have some.
     
  7. Joe

    Joe Guest

    Thanks Dave Jeff and Mont,
    Perhaps I look a bit foolish now, as I just found lots (20-30) of little black 2mm beetles in my citrus fruits (the few I was to lazy/busy to dispose off). So I cant blame the fruit fly’s for all my sorrows…. Besides at the moment my fruit fly traps outnumber the fly's. Neighbors further a field tell me a similar story, few grubs but lots and lots of those black beetles.
    I've asked around, the common cross breed garden-variety chook is best. This is exactly the menacing chooks we’ve got, they prefer to have a good time digging up the flower garden over doing some real work like eating a few fruit, as I said previously....Teenagers.
    Unfortunately collecting all the fallen fruit from our total of some 200 trees is not a viable option with our busy lives.
    I was wondering if any body out there has got any experience with fruit tree friendly ground dwelling animals other than chooks?
    Cheers
    Joe
     
  8. Jeff Nugent

    Jeff Nugent Junior Member

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  9. Joe

    Joe Guest

    Sorry Jeff,
    Perhaps I should rephrase this, is there any other ground dwelling animals that are better than chooks?
    Cheers
    Joe
     
  10. Chook Nut

    Chook Nut Junior Member

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    ducks are a goer mate..... they do less damage than chooks too.... we used to have geese on our farm instead of ducks

    goats or pigs might work but they can be destructive!

    did you have any ideas or thoughts on what other animals you could introduce?

    cheers

    Dave
     
  11. Jeff Nugent

    Jeff Nugent Junior Member

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    Ducks will spend hours ranging through your fallen fruit, day and night. If you can provide them with a pond slightly up-hill from the orchard, the water can be gravity fed to the trees as liquid manure.
    Muscovys (not a true duck) would be my last choice. Guinea Fowl would do it too, but need a tall tree to roost.
     

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