Hunt still on for Tau fly in Auckland

  • 26/01/2016
Tau fly (Ministry for Primary Industries)
Tau fly (Ministry for Primary Industries)

Nearly a week into a massive search for a potential pest to New Zealand's horticultural crops, hundreds of traps have only found one fly in Auckland.

A single adult Tau fly - known to be a pest of pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, capsicum, zucchini, beans and passionfruit crops - was found in a Manurewa fly trap on Thursday afternoon.

Since then, 58 Ministry for Primary Industries field workers have been laying traps and searching to see whether any more of the bugs have settled in the area, but have yet to turn up a second specimen.

"We are focused on finding out if there is a population of these flies in the area. If one exists, we want to get rid of them as they pose a threat to some horticultural crops," the ministry's surveillance manager Brendan Gould said.

"Our traps are very efficient. If there are further flies present, these traps will find them."

And while it's extremely unlikely the fly will be able to establish in New Zealand, a 1.5km control area has been set up from where the fly was caught in Manurewa, it said.

There are controls on the movement of pumpkin, melon, cucumber, capsicum, zucchini, beans and passionfruit in the area.

In February last year a small number of Queensland fruit flies were found in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn, prompting restrictions on fruit and vegetable in the area until early December.