On 5 May 2010 two possible exotic fruit fly specimens were detected in a Methyl Eugenol baited fruit fly trap in the most northern part of the Limpopo province adjacent to the Zimbabwe border. The fruit fly specimens were identified as Bactrocera invadens by the nominated local fruit fly expert and reported to Directorate Plant Health, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in accordance with the relevant legislation and national Action Plan. Subsequently this identification has been confirmed by an internationally recognised fruit fly taxonomist.
The NPPO of South Africa initiated a delimiting survey on 12 May 2010. A risk assessment was conducted and phytosanitary actions were implemented with immediate effect to prevent the movement of fruit from the area under delimitation.
Further delimitation towards the east, south and west of the point of detection is underway. Eradication will commence pending the final results of the delimiting survey Delimitation towards the north cannot extend further northwards due to the restriction of the national border between South Africa and Zimbabwe. Bilateral communications with the relevant NPPO in this regard are underway.
The South African national exotic fruit fly surveillance project started in 2006. A network of fruit fly traps was deployed as an early warning system to detect exotic fruit flies. Traps were placed in production areas, alongside road transects at ports of entry and in urban areas close to municipal garbage dumps, hotels, sports grounds and other strategic places countrywide. Since the establishment of Bactrocera invadens in northern Namibia and Mozambique as well as in the territories of several other African trading partners, surveillance has been intensified especially alongside the northern borders of South Africa. The fruit industry was recognised as a key role player to assist with the surveillance.
Subsequently Citrus Research International (CRI), Citrus Growers - Association (CGA), Deciduous Fruit Producers Trust (DFPT/ Hortgro), South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) and the Subtropical Growers Association became part of the official national exotic fruit fly detection survey.