Public invited to Fruit Fly session

Published on 02 July 2024


WHAT: Sterile Insect Technology information session

WHEN: July 10, 6pm

WHERE: Civic Centre


Locals with an interest in the city's fruit fly issue are invited to a public presentation on a new form of technology to control the pest.


Executive Manager Summerfruit SA, Tim Grieger, will be in the city this month to meet with Councillors and the public regarding Sterile Insect Technology (SIT).


The pest control method uses genetics as a widescale form of insect birth control, and involves breeding fruit flies and sterilising the males with an x-ray.


The sterile males are also given supplements to make them more attractive to female fruit flies, then released in large numbers into an area with a wild fruit fly population.


The introduced males outcompete the local fruit fly population and also devastate the pest's breeding cycle.


Deputy Mayor Jim Hickey said the technology could be ideal to combat the city's fruit fly issue.


"I heard Tim Grieger talking about SIT on the radio and I rang him as soon as I got in phone range, and he's been really helpful," said Cr Hickey.


"They've used the technology successfully a number of times in South Australia, and I think Broken Hill would be an ideal location to deploy it given our isolation.


"This could be a great solution to fix our own fruit fly issues, and ensure we don't become a stepping stone for the pest to spread into pest-free areas in South Australia and Victoria.


"I'm really looking forward to hearing more about it at the information session."


The Sterile Insect Technology information session will be held at the Civic Centre from 6pm on July 10.