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Queensland Fruit Fly

Queensland Fruit Fly (Qfly) is a significant threat to horticulture. It can have major impacts on Australia's capacity to trade competitively in international markets.

Effective management of Qfly ensures producers can develop, maintain and enhance access into domestic and international markets.

Queensland fruit fly is a pest that requires everyone to be involved in controlling the insect and restricting its spread

Commercial fruit fly management

Monitoring and baiting - essential steps to manage fruit fly in the orchard

Monitoring for fruit fly with MAT traps

  • MAT traps hung every 250m around the outside of the orchard and some placed down a row through the middle of the farm. The suggestion is 10-20 MAT/ ha.
  • Hang traps on the eastern side of fruit trees about 1.5m high.
  • Monitor traps weekly in spring, weekly in, summer and autumn and fortnightly in winter.
  • Remove and count the fruit flies. Keep a record of the flies caught for each trap so you can follow fruit fly population trends on your farm.
  • Replace trap wicks every 3 months.

NOTE: MAT traps - stands for male annihilation technology. MAT traps only attract, trap and kill the male Qfly. This is why it is critical that routine bait spraying is implemented in conjunction with the use of MAT traps.

Female biased fruit fly gel attractant for traps

  • Female biased fruit fly gel attractant is now available for purchase
  • The gel does attract male Qfly but predominantly female Qfly.
  • The gel provides greater protection against Qfly attack.
  • To be used in conjunction with baiting

Monitoring fruit and early harvest

  • Inspect fruit weekly for fruit fly maggots. If there are maggots inside, see instructions below for cover spray.
  • Ripening fruit is most attractive to fruit fly.
  • Harvest the fruit as early as possible.

Commercial fruit fly management guide (529KB PDF)

Managing fruit fly in the backyard

Managing QFly in your garden can be a challenge; however as with all pests, there are various strategies you can implement to protect your home-grown produce.

Monitoring for fruit fly trappings & larvae in fruit

Monitoring traps

  • Purchase a suitable fruit fly trap from a nursery or agricultural supplier.
  • Hang traps in fruit trees about 1.5m high.
  • Monitor weekly for fruit fly trappings in spring, summer & autumn;
    fortnightly in winter.
  • Count & remove any flies trapped & record to compare to following weeks
    trappings. Although this does not indicate how many flies are about it WILL
    give you an indication if populations are increasing.

Monitoring fruit

  • Cut/break open numerous pieces of fruit weekly & inspect for fruit fly
    maggots
  • If maggots are present, download instructions below for treatment.

Backyard treatment of fruit fly infestations

  • Remove fruit from trees or vegetable plants such as tomatoes, capsicums &
    chilies weekly or daily if you can.
  • If maggots are in fruit, bag up all fruit off trees/plants. Tie the bag, making
    certain of no holes in bag.
  • Place bag in full sun to ‘cook’ the maggots for a couple of days.
  • Bin the bag after maggots in fruit are ‘cooked’
  • Proceed with bait spraying program every 7-10 days whilst fruit are susceptible.
  • Continue with monitoring according to seasonal conditions

Backyard fruit fly management guide (952KB PDF)

Other information

For further information contact
Tammy Galvin
Senior Land Services Officer (Fruit Fly)
6951 2705 or tammy.galvin@lls.nsw.gov.au