Queensland fruit fly
This pest isn't limited to Queensland, and it can devastate commercial and backyard crops. Find out how to identify and manage them.
Managing Queensland Fruit Fly is a community effort. Working together we can prevent it from becoming established in Darebin.
What is Queensland Fruit Fly?
Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) is a serious horticultural pest that can devastate commercial and backyard fruit crops. It lays its eggs in many common fruits and vegetables, causing the flesh to rot and making it inedible.
Over time QFF have spread from their native habitat in Queensland rain forests to parts of Victoria. Sadly, small outbreaks have occurred in the inner Melbourne area, with recent sightings being reported in Darebin for the first time.
If you have fruit trees or fruiting vegetables in your garden, it's important to start preparing your garden for Queensland Fruit Fly.
How to identify Queensland Fruit Fly
Adult QFF are about 7mm long and reddish-brown in colour, with distinct yellow markings on the body and transparent wings. The larvae/maggots are white or cream and 2-9 mm long. They are wedge shaped and plumper at the tail end. A black feeding hook is visible in mature larvae. You can find between 2 and 20 larvae in infested fruit.
If you find Queensland Fruit Fly in your garden, it's quick and easy to report it online (1 min to complete):
Common host fruit
QFF can infest nearly all common fruits and fruiting vegetables such as: stone fruit (such as nectarines, peaches, nectarines), pome fruit (apples, quinces, pears), citrus (lemons, limes, oranges, cumquats), tomatoes, berries, cherries and grapes.
For a comprehensive list, see Agriculture Victoria’s list of host fruits.
Watch Agriculture Victoria's video about the QFF life cycle to learn about its life cycle and how it spreads.
Managing Queensland Fruit Fly
Learn how to identify, prevent and manage QFF in your garden:
Baits, traps, nets, bags and sleeves can be purchased from nurseries and home garden retailers. You can try making your own baits and traps. Check out this guide on How to make DIY fruit fly traps by Gardening Australia.
Working together to stop the spread
Area-wide management is required for QFF control to be effective. In addition to protecting your own fruit and vegetables from being infested, it is everyone’s responsibility to reduce the spread of QFF to other areas.
- DO NOT dispose untreated produce directly into your rubbish or green bin, as it may spread to another area.
- DO NOT take infested fruit to another area – this is how it spreads easily
- Please DO help your neighbours to prune their trees
- Please DO carefully examine the fruit for pests and diseases before sharing and swapping fruit with friends
ResourcesLearn how to identify, prevent and manage QFF in your garden:
- Download a copy of our Queensland Seasonal Calendar of Backyard Jobs (PDF)
- Check out Agriculture Victoria’s guide to controlling fruit fly in the home garden