Harcourt's Fruit Fly Action Group will implement an emergency action plan after Queensland Fruit Fly was discovered in peaches from a property in the town.
Agriculture Victoria confirmed this week that Queensland Fruit Fly was found in a sample of fruit taken from Harcourt.
Action group member Terry Willis says he is "devastated" by the discovery of the insect.
Read more: Bendigo gardeners battle fruit fly attack
The fly lays eggs inside fruit and some vegetables, which then destroy the crop.
Harcourt was previously thought to be free from the insect, which has destroyed crops in Bendigo gardens in recent years.
Harcourt Valley Landcare formed the action group, believing the town's apple growing industry meant it was next in line for infestation.
The insect came to Harcourt sooner than Mr Willis expected.
"We thought we’d have probably a year up our sleeve to apply for grants and get an emergency action plan ready for this situation," Mr Willis said.
"The fruit fly aren’t playing ball. They’ve jumped the gun and got ahead of us."
Mr Willis said the fruit fly would likely affect non-commercial gardeners worst.
To fight the fruit fly everyone in the community would need to manage their land, Mr Willis said.
"It’s a community problem and it takes the community to fight it, and that means everyone," Mr Willis said.
"You only need someone who has a tree somewhere that is neglected or is not managed and that could be the tree that it lives in, that could be the host tree that kicks it off again."
Read more: Fruit fly found in Harcourt peaches
Victoria's Queensland fruit fly coordinator Cathy Mansfield said it was important for Harcourt residents to look for signs of fruit fly in their home gardens.
Ms Mansfield said it was key to watch ripening fruits, such as late plums and peaches.
Mr Willis said hygiene would be key to the town fighting a potential fruit fly outbreak.
He urged the community to dispose of fruit with larvae by double bagging, boiling or freezing.
Residents will need to set up traps and net their trees to avoid infestation.
For more fruit fly management information visit: bit.ly/2qj05VQ
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