South Australia's fruit fly outbreaks are playing havoc with the horticultural industry
While vast tracts of metropolitan Adelaide are now caught up in a series of outbreaks, it is the spread of the pest in the Riverland region which has growers on tenterhooks.
Extensive eradication efforts are currently underway, and authorities are confident the outbreaks will eventually be brought under control.
But some producers are concerned it might already be too late.
There are currently 10 outbreaks of Mediterranean fruit fly in metropolitan Adelaide, with the first detection in Blair Athol in December, 2019.
Queensland fruit fly has also been found in Ridleyton, in Adelaide's south, alongside five different areas in the Riverland, where eradication efforts have accelerated in recent weeks.
Biosecurity SA executive director Nathan Rhodes said the collective outbreak of the pest was one of the biggest the state has seen, and battling two different species at the same time has been a significant challenge.
"The responses are really labour intensive — it takes a lot of people knocking on people's doors and going into backyards," he said.
"There's in the vicinity of 150,000 households that are affected in Adelaide alone.
"Likewise, you go to the Riverland — we have a lot of residential properties in that area, but also commercial properties, that are growing and trying to move fruit that need to have treatments applied or conditions put in place to allow them to continue to operate."
In Adelaide, the so-called "orange army" of the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) is out in force, knocking on doors and inspecting and treating plants in the worst-hit suburbs.
Last Update: 29-04-2021 16:06