Primary Industries
& Regions SA

Fruit fly

Current outbreaks

Mediterranean fruit fly (Med-fly)

We are responsible for keeping South Australia fruit fly free.

Fruit fly hotline

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

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

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 2016-17 the estimated farm-gate value of the state’s horticultural produce vulnerable to fruit fly infestation, including wine grapes, was $1.25 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:


Hotline: 1300 666 010

Page Last Reviewed: 15 Jun 2018

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