Treatment & Disposal

Treatment and Disposal of QFF Infested Fruit

Treatment and Disposal is the preferred and correct option for all suspect fruit, even if you are not sure it is QFF. If there is only a chance it is QFF, it is better to be treated and destroyed, as if it is QFF damage.

QFF stings on a peach
About Queensland Fruit Fly

TREATMENT

Queensland Fruit Fly can be treated using extreme temperatures to kill fruit fly eggs and larvae in damaged fruit.

Freezing, boiling and solarising are all ways of treating fruit with QFF.

About Queensland Fruit Fly

FREEZING

Bag and seal the suspect fruit and place in the freezer until the centre of the fruit is solid. This can take days, depending on the volume being frozen. Large quantities of densely packed fruit could take a week or more in the freezer to be sure the QFF is dead.

About Queensland Fruit Fly

BOILING

Cook the fruit in a pot on the stove or in the microwave. Larger quantities need more time to reach the boil. A successful method a home gardener used was in a large pot on her outdoor barbeque wok burner.

About Queensland Fruit Fly

SOLARISING

Double bag suspect fruit into sealed black plastic bags and leave in the full sun for about a week to kill the larvae and eggs. This is more successful in areas with very hot temperatures (e.g. Mildura). Care must be taken to prevent the bag being ripped open by birds, foxes and rats before solarisation is completed.

DISPOSAL

Fruit infested with QFF must be correctly treated first. Freezing, boiling and solarising are all ways of treating fruit with QFF.

The treated fruit can be disposed of in the RUBBISH BIN.

  • place the sealed bag of treated fruit in the normal rubbish bin for regular collection.

DO NOT COMPOST

  • Home gardeners are encouraged not to directly compost QFF infested fruit as it increases the chance of QFF survival.
  • ONLY correctly treated waste (boiled, frozen or solarised) that has been double checked to make sure all the larvae are dead, can be placed into the FOGO bins for collection. 

LARGER FRUIT QUANTITIES

Managers of commercial enterprises or large production areas where fruit collection and treatment is not a practical solution, can consider other options of fruit treatment and disposal as part of their toolbox of QFF best practices and property plans. Prevention techniques that keep the fruit free of QFF during the season are far more desirable.

OTHER METHODS to help with fruit Destruction, Treatment and Disposal 

Extended chill

EXTENDED CHILLING OR FREEZING

To reduce QFF risk, dedicated coolstores can be used to treat QFF infested fruit or general waste fruit with extended periods of chilling or freezing, prior to disposal. Check industry guidelines for chill requirements.

credit to Goulburn Murray Fruit Fly Project

Credit to Goulburn Murray Fruit Fly Project

MULCHING

Mulching the fruit with large machinery is a good risk reduction activity. This technique can be used to better manage other pests too. Only partial fruit fly larvae kill occurs, depending on fruit size, tractor wheel pattern, depth of the ruts in the soil, if the soil is wet or dry, how low the mulcher is to the ground.

BURIAL

Deep burial under 1m of compacted soil* can be a disposal option.
This method is impractical, due to the time and expense of digging and filling in holes. Holes must be filled in to prevent QFF escaping and holes present a work place safety hazard.

fermented berries being tested

FERMENTATION

Fruit can be placed in a sealable container suitable for fermentation. Vessels require a CO2 release valve (as for making cider) to prevent the build-up of pressure inside. Research suggests that fermentation over about 3 days of 24 deg C or warmer can kill QFF eggs and larvae. After successful treatment, fermented fruit waste can safely be disposed of on farm without any QFF risk. For more details you can read “Fruit Waste Management for Queensland Fruit Fly Prevention

credit Yarra Valley Water

Credit Yarra Valley Water

BIO-DIGESTOR

Soon, the Yarra Ranges will have access to a biodigester for large quantities of approved fruit waste. This process will successfully kill QFF eggs and larvae. The bi-products are methane for electricity generation and fertiliser pellets for gardens. Details about this to come. Watch this space. Transport of QFF infested fruit from farm to bio-digestor needs to be done securely to prevent QFF spread in the Yarra Valley.
and prevent the spread of QFF.

Leaf Root and Fruit

Credit Leaf Root Fruit

FEEDING ANIMALS

The QFF eggs and larvae will not survive the digestion process in farm animals like cows, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry. Rules and regulations are in place to protect animals. Care and caution is required when feeding any fruit to animals to ensure the safety of the animals, and should only be done with the support of an agronomist.

*For further detail on options for fruit disposal please read this