IT'S been a bad couple of weeks in the fight against fruit fly in northwest Victoria.
There has been 123 new samples confirmed by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries in the past week alone.
The worst was 57 Queensland fruit flies found in citrus orchards at Boundary Bend, north of Swan Hill, after 29 the previous week.
There also were 14 flies found at Swan Hill, 11 at Koondrook and eight at Vinifera, also north of Swan Hill.
DPI state fruit fly director Gary D'Arcy said the large numbers of fruit flies at Boundary Bend were found on two orchards that had been taken out of commercial production this year.
''In the last 10 days to two weeks, the local landholder has removed a lot of the trees and the other property has received two or three cover sprays of registered chemical to kill off the fruit fly,'' he said.
''We've yet to determine how effective it's been. We will go back and check the traps at least twice this week and all things going to plan we'll eradicate that outbreak.''
By comparison with last year, Mr D'Arcy said the situation had begun to improve dramatically, despite continued outbreaks and discoveries such as Boundary Bend.
April and May were the critical months for Sunraysia and the Murray Valley and when the majority of last year's outbreaks occurred.
''The (fruit) industry's done a lot of good work on their properties but they need to remain vigilant and make sure if they do have fruit on their properties that they keep the sprays up,'' Mr D'Arcy said.
''If there's trees they don't require for one reason or another - even trees near their residence that can be the source of an outbreak, we urge them to consider whether they need it or not.
''The department urges industry and the community to play their part and make sure if they do have fruit trees on their property, that they are well-maintained.
''If they don't need them, they should consider having them removed.''
Mr D'Arcy said he understood that drought and other circumstances meant some properties were not being maintained as they would have been if they were in commercial production ''but you get an outbreak and it affects everyone''.
As well as DPI staff, there are large numbers of people employed by commercial contractors to carry out chemical control of fruit fly outbreaks.
''The majority of the outbreaks are in rural and semi-rural situations so there's not the need to have large scale teams as we do in urban areas such as Swan Hill, which is being treated at the moment, so there's a lot of staff deployed in that neck of the woods,'' he said.