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Fight fruit fly in Cobram

Residents urged to renew fruit fly baits to support local orchards.

RIAHN SMITH December 6, 2013 4:00am

Cobram fruitgrower Tony Latina says controlling fruit fly in town is essential to ensure a future for the region's orchards.


Cobram fruit growers are urging residents to support the local industry in the fight against fruit fly.

Victorian Peach and Apricot Growers Association president Tony Latina said the high number of fruit flies detected in orchards near the township last year was concerning.

To address the problem, the association and local service clubs delivered baits to every household as part of a Victorian Government-funded pilot program to control fruit flies in town.

Mr Latina said controlling the pest was a vital step in ensuring a future for the region’s orchards.

‘‘It’s very crucial that fruit fly is controlled,’’ the Cobram orchardist said.

‘‘Once you get fruit fly in your fruit it’s hard to detect.

‘‘You send your fruit to markets and as people buy them and cut into them they find they’re filled with maggots. That’s something we really don’t want.

‘‘If the town doesn’t protect itself, it just puts more pressure on us.

‘‘Without protective measures we’ll have no income at all.’’

Mr Latina said the baits delivered to homes in September would soon expire, but said residents would have to pay for a replacement.

Since the pilot program had ended, he hoped the community would be prepared to spend a few dollars to support local orchards.

‘‘Unfortunately the amulet that we’re using only lasts around three to four months, so we’re hoping they’re happy to spend about $10 a year to protect their garden and our livelihoods,’’ Mr Latina said.

‘‘This has been a bit of a public awareness campaign.

‘‘We want people to think that on the first day of spring you’ve got to do something about the fruit flies, and then again on the first day of summer.

‘‘We try and protect our fruit but we need the town’s help too.’’

Replacement baits will be available at a street stall at the corner of Bank St and Punt Rd from 9am on Saturday. They can also be purchased from the Victorian Peach and Apricot Association office at 30A Bank St, Cobram.

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