A COMMUNITY group has stepped up to fight hunger on two fronts, battling both fruit fly infestations and food poverty.
Bendigo Community Fruit volunteers will offer to prune or net backyard trees against the Queensland fruit fly, in exchange for a donation of the harvest saved from infestation to Bendigo Foodshare.
Organiser Nicole Porter the fruit fly would begin breed in fruits left on tree as soon as the weather warmed up.
Read more: Bendigo gardeners battle fruit fly attack
Miss Porter urged Bendigo residents to trim trees, refill traps and not leave fruit lying around.
She said fruit left unpicked could create a breeding ground for the insect to spread to neighbours' yards.
Outbreaks of Queensland fruit fly often force gardeners to abandon entire crops, as their fruit and some vegetables become a pulpy mess.
Populations tend to increase with warmer temperatures in spring and summer but can survive in soil through winter.
"At the moment, the overwintering flies will be thinking about waking up, as it gets warmer they start to become active again," Miss Porter said.
"Traps should be set now as a way to tell when the fruit fly are active.
"As soon as their stone fruits and that have set, as soon as the blossoms have fallen and you've got the little baby fruits, [gardeners] need to net, or they need to start spraying or whatever they're going to do."
Harcourt's fruit fly situation remains apparently unchanged after an outbreak in March.
Pupae from the fruit fly were found in a sample of peaches from a garden in the town.
Harcourt Valley Fruit Fly Action Group member Terry Willis said there had been no reported cases since that outbreak.
The group advised residents to set up monitoring traps, and save a sample of any suspected fruit fly for testing.
If residents find fruit flies they should contact the Harcourt Valley Fruit Fly Action Group via Facebook, Mr Willis said.
He said it was critical that people avoid transporting fruit from infected areas into Harcourt.
"Realistically there are going to be more outbreaks at some stage, it's how we deal with them," Mr Willis said.
"Our main concern is biosecurity, as in fruit coming from fruit fly infested areas such as Bendigo.
"They're not flying south en masse, they're turning up from infected fruit that are being taken into the area."
Miss Porter said Bendigo region fruit fly had about 20 nets to loan in exchange for harvest donations to Foodshare.
Contact Bendigo region fruit fly on 0439 841 607.
More information about fruit fly management is available here.
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