Agronomy •  13/8/2021

Corteva product a key in fight against fruit fly in South Australia

An insecticide from chemical company, Corteva Agriscience, is playing a key role in controlling outbreaks of fruit fly in South Australia.

South Australia is the only mainland state that has a fruit fly free status and Corteva works closely with Biosecurity SA to provide their Naturalure® product to control the pest in outbreak areas.

Corteva Agriscience Customer Technology Specialist Chris Brown, said baiting with Naturalure® is one part of Biosecurity's program against fruit fly.

“Fruit fly is a constant problem for growers in South Australia. Invasion from Victoria and invasion from Western Australia into South Australia is causing constant outbreaks within the state,” he said.

“One way that the government of South Australia is dealing with urban outbreaks is using a natural product, an organically certified insecticide called Naturalure® Fruit fly bait.

Naturalure® contains spinosad, a naturally derived, organic insecticide that is used as part of their baiting process throughout urban areas to control fruit fly outbreaks.

“When members of the public identify fruit fly or diseased fruit, they contact Biosecurity SA which then initiate a programmed approach to controlling the pest,” Mr Brown said. “Naturalure® is diluted with water and applied onto fruit trees in urban areas."

Hugh Mayo, Bob North and Chris Brown inspecting the Naturalure® trailers used in fruit fly prevention in the Adelaide Hills of SA.
Hugh Mayo, Bob North and Chris Brown inspecting the Naturalure® trailers used in fruit fly prevention in the Adelaide Hills of SA.

He said in the past fruit fly baiting had involved older chemistry such as organophosphates which were not as targeted and friendly to the environment.

Naturalure® is a naturally derived insecticide which is very selective to the pest and attracts and kills fruit flies. It doesn't have any adverse effects on beneficial insects, on pollinators that are occurring naturally in people's gardens."

"The active ingredient in Naturalure® is Spinosad which has a very low toxicity and will not have any adverse effects on mammals. People in urban areas can rest assured that when their property is treated for fruit fly, there won’t be any worry about their pets."

Mr Brown said it was an exciting project for Corteva to be involved with.

Naturalure® is a soft solution that's organically certified, is easy to use and is safe to humans and domestic pets when applied. It is very selective in the fact that it only controls fruit flies.”

The insecticide is applied using specially made tanker trailers which are operated by Bob North Mechanical from the Adelaide Hills.

Mr North services more than 25 trailers which are deployed in the warmer months. Operators decant the liquid from the trailer to a knapsack and spray Naturalure® directly onto trees and other potential exposure sites.

“This is a big program,” he said. “They don't take second chances with this stuff. They throw everything at it and rightly so. Fruit flies are a big thing in SA. The trailers go out to combat fruit fly that could threaten our horticultural regions.”

He said the use of Naturalure® was a real positive for the industry because it was much better than the chemistry that had been used in the past.

Naturalure® is certified organic. We just can't get enough of it here in SA."