Tasmania is in the enviable position of having ''whole of state'' freedom from Queensland fruit fly.
This pest free status provides a significant competitive advantage in access to key international markets for Tasmanian producers.
We are also fortunate to be able to enjoy growing backyard fruit and vegetables without the disappointment of crops being spoiled by Qfly.
Summer is the peak time for fruit fly activity on mainland Australia and a time of increased risk for Tasmania.
Biosecurity Tasmania and the broader national fruit fly management system has strict controls in place aimed at reducing the risk of Qfly from entering Tasmania.
This preparedness includes a program of increased inspections at the border for imported Qfly host produce.
However, the risk to Tasmania can never be reduced to zero and all Tasmanians are encouraged to remain vigilant for any signs of fruit fly.
On the mainland, Qfly lay eggs in maturing and ripe fruit on trees and sometimes in fallen fruit.
The larvae (which look similar to blowfly maggots) hatch and the fruit is destroyed by the feeding maggots and by associated fruit decay. Qfly can lay eggs in a wide range of fruit, fruiting vegetables and native fruiting plants.
Evidence of Qfly activity can also be seen with what appear as puncture marks (stings) on the skin of fruit, where the female fly has laid eggs.
If you suspect evidence of Qfly, please report it to Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777.
Don't dispose of any fruit that you think may have Qfly eggs or larvae.
Seal the fruit in a zip lock or plastic bag or container and put it in your fridge until a Biosecurity Tasmania officer can collect the sample for diagnosis in our laboratories.
Ongoing vigilance by Government, industry and the broader community is required to ensure that we are best placed to quickly identify and respond to the Qfly threat.
For more information on Qfly visit the Biosecurity Tasmania website at: www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/fruitfly
With Christmas only weeks away it is also timely to remind interstate and overseas family and friends that there are certain things that cannot be sent to, or imported into, Tasmania.
To ensure that restricted items do not enter the state via the post, Biosecurity Tasmania uses detector dogs and x-ray machines, to screen incoming packages.
This webpage gives you a quick overview of the types of materials that can and cannot be sent: www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/travellersguide