The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) confirms the detection of male specimens of Bactrocera invadens in the Vhembe, Mopani and Bohlabela districts in the Limpopo province. The affected areas are the Levubu (Vhembe district), Deerpark (Mopani districts) and Hoedspruit (Bohlabela district). The identifications are confirmed by an Internationally recognized fruit fly taxonomist.
The NPPO of South Africa initiated delimiting surveys in the areas after the first detections and phytosanitary actions were implemented with immediate effect to prevent the movement of fruit from the area under delimitation. Actions to eradicate these areas commenced after the detection of a second adult fruit fly in each of the affected areas. Bilateral communications with the relevant NPPOs in this regard are underway. The first detection in the Levubu area was on 27 April 2012 and the second on 16 May 2012. The first detection in the Deerpark area was on 26 April 2012 and the second on 31 May 2012. The first detection in the Hoedspruit area was on 16 April 2012 and the second on 8 May 2012. Eradication has been initiated in all of these areas.
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, northern Botswana 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 recognized as a key role player to assist with the surveillance. Subsequently Citrus Research International (CRI), Citrus Growersâ€™ Association (CGA), Deciduous Fruit Producers Trust (DFPT/ Hortgro), South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) and the Subtropical Growers Association (Subtrop) became part of the official National exotic fruit fly detection survey. Bactrocera invadens has been detected in seven areas in South Africa since May 2010 and was successfully eradicated in all of those areas.