Biosecurity officials say they are very confident they have found the only Queensland fruit fly in Auckland, but it will be next week before they bet the farm.
A male Queensland fruit fly - a species which could decimate New Zealand's $6.5-billion horticulture industry - was found in a trap in the suburb of Avondale last Tuesday, sparking a massive response from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
The fly lays eggs in more than 100 species of fruits and vegetables, which are destroyed by the larvae. If an invasion is confirmed, countries would likely ban produce imports from New Zealand.
That has not happened yet. No further flies have shown up in hundreds more pheromone traps that have been installed around Avondale, and after dozens of biosecurity officers descended on Sunday's Avondale Markets.
Fruit from a restricted movement zone was discovered at the markets. Some were being tested for eggs and larvae, while most have been destroyed, MPI deputy director general Andrew Coleman told NZ Newswire.
However, the good news is none appear to show signs of the fly, he says.
Experience shows that the search has to be kept up for two weeks following the first discovery, which means it will be Wednesday or Thursday next week before officials can say they have beaten the fly, he says.
It's most likely the male fly came into Auckland on a piece of fresh fruit. How it got here will be investigated further, after the initial response period.
Mr Coleman says the public response has been "fantastic".
"It could be easy to be flippant about this one, but the general public is accepting this is a very serious matter."People living around Avondale did not need to go looking for the flies as they were very difficult to identify by sight. "People need to trust in the traps."
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