Kyabram Fab Flowers



The fruit flies generally appear once the temperature increases after winter and early spring. The flies generally overwinter in the ground and become inactive. Be vigilant as they can still be around in the winter, around the town in warm pockets near buildings etc. Control needs to start late winter.

What does a fruit fly look like?  A bit small than a fly with markings.


  • Fruit flies will hang around an area of about 50metres if a protein source is available ( eg fruit tree)
  • After mating females look for a food source (protein) fruit tree to lay her eggs. The female fly will not lay eggs if she has not mated so kill the males early in the season.
  • The eggs hatch within 2-4 days into maggots (this is when you see them in your fruit) they feed on your fruit. When grown to about 8mm they stop feeding, leave the fruit and burrow into the soil. ( Why you need to Pick up and bag and solarise dropped fruit daily or every 2nd day )
  • In the soil they pupate turning into flies, they burrow up through the soil and the cycle starts over.
  • Most active in the mornings.
  • Male Flies come out of the ground and begin being active in August.
  • Female flies come out and begin being active in October
  • Newly emerged flies need 24 hours for their wings to harden up. Predators on the soil surface such as chickens, birds will eat the flies, but not an effective control.


  • Please encourage your neighbours to control flies in their gardens too. If everyone works together we wouldn’t have a huge problem.  The idea is to bait and control before they get to the fruit.
  • If you grow your own fruit & vegetables then you need to control fruit fly.
  • Prune trees to a size that you can net or manage. Better fruit off a smaller tree.
  • Nets are very effective for vegetable garden. Bamboo or poly pipe with mosquito netting over it.

NETTING- is the most effective prevention. Cover fruit and trees with mosquito netting or old curtain netting.

You can make little bags to tie on fruit if you can sew.   We have fine netting for sale.

Don’t cover trees until blossom has finished and fruit has set. The bees need to do their work.

HYGENIE- pick up all fallen fruit daily. Bag it and leave in the hot sun for a few days or freeze. Put in garbage. Don’t place in compost or bury fruit as flies live in the soil.  Fruit can be cooked and fed to chooks or animals.


Baiting is preparing a sticky solution that is splashed ( with a paint brush )or sprayed in coarse droplets onto the trunk and lower leaves. The female fly goes looking for protein, so does the male. By spraying the trunk of a tree with poisoned bait it attracts the flies and they die. This is a good method to use in spring before the fruit is ripe. You only spray the trunk or lower branches. You don’t need to spray the fruit.  See below how to apply FOLIAGE BAIT.


  • Apply in the morning when the flies are most active.
  • Use with wet bait traps if lots of flies around.
  • Spray once per fortnight unless high population of flies then weekly.
  • Reapply after rainfall.
  • Spray of flick on the truck with a paintbrush so droplets are large.  1 litre of mix will treat approx 10 trees
  • Spray or flick bait poison on to tree trunk approx 1mtr off the ground.

Foliage Bait Insecticides.

  • Yates Natures Way Fruit Fly Control- a bait and insecticide pre mixed for you. Active ingredient Spinosad.
  • Yates  Success- 5 ml insecticide to add to a 1 litre protein mix- Active ingredient  Spinosad-low toxicity
  • Malathon ( Maldison )- insecticide to add to a protein mix- toxic to fish, birds  
  • Pyrethrum – insecticide to add to protein mix. Low toxicity

Do not use Confidor because it is edible fruit and Confidor is systemic and stays in the trees system.

  • Protein Bait mixes- To a 1 litre of water add one of the following recipes ( Add your choice of insecticide as per bottle instructions)
  • 100 grams white sugar & 2 grams brewer’s yeast
  • 10mls vanilla essence & 20 ml household ammonia
  • 5ml vanilla essence& 20 ml ammonia & 50 grams sugar


Cover spraying is different to Foliage Baiting in that you are spraying the fruit and it will kill the flies at different life stage. The bad side is that it will kill beneficial insects and you are spraying poison on to your fruit.  Cover spraying won’t stop the female from stinging the fruit, but it breaks the cycle and reduces fly numbers.

  • Spray once fruit is ½ to ¾ of full size.
  • Spray if a lot of flies are being caught in traps over a few days.
  • The aim is to cover the tree with insecticide. Please note the withholding period for the choice of poison you use.
  • You can use the insecticide Success, Pyrethrum, Malathon (No bait is used)
  • You can leave the fruit on the tree to ripen
  • Use in conjunction with Fruit pick up And Bait Wet Traps
  • Spray fortnightly or after heavy rain


A wet trap has a protein source in it and a poison to kill the fly. You can just let them drown if they can’t get out.

  • Trapping is used for detecting flies when they arrive in your garden and also to kill them.
  • Other insects will get caught in the traps. You can have male traps and female traps
  • A trap can be made from empty milk containers or soft drink bottles. See Diagram. Make sure you remove the label so children don’t think it soft drink
  • Hang 2 traps per tree on the morning shade side.  For every 6 traps hang, 2 decoy trap in a non fruiting tree
  • Flies are most active in the morning
  • If you get a lot of flies in your traps then consider cover spraying or baiting.
  • Traps need to be emptied weekly or fortnightly and refilled with solution. More often in summer

WET TRAP RECIEPES (Mr Neville Hunter)

To attract Males

2 litres of water & ½ cup sugar & 1 teaspoon vanilla essence & 2 tablespoons of cloudy ammonia.   

Enough for 4 bottle traps

To attract Females

½ cup hot water & 1 teaspoon vegemite & ¼ cup brown sugar & finely chopped banana peel ass to 1 litre water enough for 2 bottle traps

*** Insecticide can be added to the WET TRAP is you desire. Use as directed on the bottle. See Foliage Bait Insecticide list.   * Yates Fruit Fly Control is bait & poison pre-mix

If you don’t want o add insecticide you can hang a piece of flea collar in the bottle as a fly killer as well.

You can also use molasses, beer, vinegar, or undiluted fruit juices, yeast.


Acknowledgements & Source:

DPI ttp://

Mr Neville Hunter- fruit fly notes



Hang wet traps to detect Male flies Hang wet traps to detect Female & Male flies Hang wet traps to detect Female & Male flies Hang wet traps to detect Female & Male flies

Foliage Bait Trees

Foliage Bait Trees

Foliage Bait Trees


Use nets to cover  trees  & veggies

Use nets to cover  trees  & veggies

    Cover spray fruit if fly population is large Cover spray fruit if fly population is large
Watch on thin skinned lemon fruit & citrus

Pick up fallen fruit

Pick up fallen fruit

Pick up fallen fruit





how to Grow a Container Garden

Container gardens are the latest trend. They can create a great focal point in your garden, a moment of drawing your eye to something special. A few pots and you can have yourself a container garden. Firstly think about how big the plant will grow. You will starve a big plant in a little pot. Especially if their big feeders like a lemon tree. Do all the plants I am planting require the same environment.   Eg. You wouldn’t put succulents in with impatiens or other water lovers. Do they all like shade or sun?

Fancy pots, plastic pots, old buckets or barrows or hanging baskets. If it holds dirt then use it. Here are some tips on growing in pots.

  • Terracotta or clay pots are great as they let oxygen in as well. They do dry out faster and need more water.
  • Plastic are fine for a few seasons and you can get them in a big size range.
  • Always use a good premium potting mix. This is the only source of nutrient your plant has. Make sure you feed it regularly.  A good complete organic fertiliser if you are growing veggies is best.  Talk to us if you have questions about what to feed your plants.
  • Mulch your pots to help keep the moisture in.
  • In summer on hot days the dirt in the pots gets very hot. Try to shade the pot from the direct sun. Pop them in the garden or amongst other plants.
  • Make sure the pot you choose has adequate drainage.  If not put some gravel or polystyrene in the bottom.
  • You can also sit your pot on bricks or pot feet to help with drainage.
  • Plant taller growers in the centre and then shorter plants around.  Plant things with similar environmental requirements. Eg. Dry & dry or shade & shade.
  • If growing veggies you will need approx 5 hours of sunlight. Preferably morning sun.
  • Watch the water. A deep pot will be damp under the top soil. Check if your not sure by sticking your finger in. Don’t over water and don’t under water. If the pots dry out quickly the water may be running straight through. Stick a saucer under the pot or sit in a bucket for 24 hours for a good soak. 

herbs help control the insect balance

Welcome. this is my first offical blog page.  If you ask a question on the web site I will try to answer for you on this page.  Clean green gardening is important to me and to help you to understand how to have less damaging instects in your garden, partically your veggie garden, using herbs and flowers can be very useful. Some insects find you veggies like cauliflower and broccoli by smell. So to deter them it helps to plant scented herbs such as rosemary, mint, sage close by. This cofuses them. Planting pretty flowers such as nasturiums on the edges of your garden will draw aphis pest away from your veges. They become sacrifical plants. Attracting bees to your garden is a must as without the bee many flowers wont pollenate and there fore low fruiting. Borage & thyme are great for bes as is white and yellow flowers. Dont be limited to your veggie patch though as there are many herbs that look sensation dotted around the flower garden. Golden oregano, marjoram, tri colour sage, even the humble parsley are fantastic.  A must for summer planting is sweet basil planted with your tomatoes. 

To find out more on how insects can be of benefit to your garden to help keep a more balnced enviroment and reduce the use of sprays please pick up a sheet for our store or email me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will email you the sheet. Also companion planting is a helpful way to keep your garden healthier. By learning which plants like to grow beside each other they will be healthier, stronger and fruitful plants.  We also have companion planting sheets available or of course online is a great resource.  Enjoy the springtime and I hope this has inspired you to call in to our little nursery and check out the range of herbs and vegetables availabe.  We also stock the southern Harvest Cottage Garden & heirloom seed range.  Happy Gardening