Fruit fly

We are responsible for keeping South Australia fruit fly free.

Eat it or Bin it!

Travelling into South Australia from interstate or into the Riverland from within the state?

With zero tolerance now in place at the Yamba quarantine station and all random roadblocks, if caught with uncertified fruit or fruiting vegetables you could face fines and penalties of up to $100,000. Find out what you need to do to help keep South Australia fruit fly free and avoid a fine on our bringing fruit and vegetables into South Australia page.

How to identify and report - fruit fly hotline

Learn how to look for fruit flies on the Fruit fly watch page.

Call the 24 hour fruit fly hotline on 1300 666 010 if you find maggots in fruit, vegetables, or other plants.

Current outbreaks and detections

View current fruit fly detections and outbreaks information.

Keeping South Australia fruit fly free

Every year the South Australian government spends about $5 million keeping fruit fly and other pests out of South Australia.

Learn about:

The value of being fruit fly free

South Australia is the only mainland Australian state that is fruit fly free.

This means:

  • South Australia’s commercial fruit and vegetable industry is valuable to the state. In 2017-18 the estimated farm-gate value of the state’s horticultural produce vulnerable to fruit fly infestation, including wine grapes, was $1.2 billion.
  • Horticultural producers have access to lucrative export markets. For example; citrus and almond export markets in the New Zealand, Germany, and Japan are worth about $87 million a year. These markets would not be accessible without additional treatments if South Australia didn’t have fruit fly free status.
  • The citrus industry saves an estimated $4.2 million a year because cold and chemical treatments are not needed.
  • Home grown fruit and vegetables need less pesticides.

What fruit fly does

Female fruit flies lay eggs in a wide range of fruits, vegetables and other plants, including:

  • citrus
  • apples
  • pears
  • apricots
  • cherries
  • berries
  • bananas
  • capsicum
  • tomatoes
  • table grapes
  • wine grapes
  • olives
  • almonds.

Fruit fly larvae (maggots) hatch from the eggs deposited in the fruit and vegetables, and feed on the fruit and vegetable flesh, thereby destroying it. They pupate and then shelter in the soil before emerging as flies, which then feed and breed.

Many species of fruit fly are found in Australia, including the native Queensland fruit fly (Q-fly), which is endemic in the eastern states and the Northern Territory, and the introduced Mediterranean fruit fly (Med-fly), which is endemic in Western Australia.

Fruit fly can spread from endemic areas to fruit fly free areas if fruit and vegetables infested with eggs or larvae are transported by travellers or in commercial consignments.



Video by PIRSA:

Video by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources:


24 hour Fruit Fly reporting hotline: 1300 666 010

Page Last Reviewed: 07 Dec 2018

Latest news

  • Zero tolerance against fruit fly at Yamba

    4 January

    The State Government has stepped up its fight against fruit fly with a zero tolerance approach to come into effect at the Yamba Quarantine Station from today.
    Read more about Zero tolerance against fruit fly at Yamba
  • Border sting operation to stop fruit fly

    28 December

    More than 230 drivers entering South Australia through Bordertown last weekend received fines for illegally bringing fruit into the state in a random roadblock operation undertaken by South Australian biosecurity officers.
    Read more about Border sting operation to stop fruit fly
  • 'Eat it or bin it' if you're travelling this Christmas

    19 December

    Visiting friends and family are being reminded to ‘Eat It or Bin It’ this festive season and avoid putting the state’s fruit fly free status at risk by bringing any fresh fruit and vegetables back into South Australia or the Riverla…
    Read more about 'Eat it or bin it' if you're travelling this Christmas
  • Loxton Fruit Fly community meeting

    14 December

    Residents and producers within the 1.5km outbreak area will have an opportunity to receive the latest updates on the fruit fly eradication response around Loxton at a community meeting.
    Read more about Loxton Fruit Fly community meeting
  • Riverland call to action on Fruit Fly

    12 December

    A call to action has been issued for the entire Riverland community to eradicate waste material that could be a host for fruit fly after an outbreak of Q-fly was detected in Loxton on Thursday.
    Read more about Riverland call to action on Fruit Fly
  • Fruit Fly Outbreak declared in the Riverland

    7 December

    An outbreak of Queensland fruit fly (Q-fly) has been detected in Loxton following the discovery of seven male flies.
    Read more about Fruit Fly Outbreak declared in the Riverland
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