Control principles

Control strategies may either kill the fly direct or manipulate the fly's use of resources (e.g. a net prevents the fly from laying eggs in the fruit). 

Each control strategy targets a specific stage in the flies life cycle - usually the adult fly. If other stages are present (i.e. egg, larvae, pupae) repeat applications,  or other controls are needed. 


Effective control uses more than one strategy. The aim is to prevent the QFF from completing its life-cycle

1. Prevent egg-laying in host material by: 

  • reducing tree heights to make harvest easier and easy to pick;

  • managing crop yields through thinning and trimming outside of the area being protected on the tree;

  • pick fruit early;

  • mulching any fallen fruit or removing late crop;

  • disposing of any waste or unwanted fruit through deep burial, cover spray or using as stock feed;

  • removing trees that are not being actively managed for QFF.

2. Disrupting mating using male annihilation technique (MAT) which combines a parapheromone to attract the male flies and an insecticide. MATs are effective from 10-20m and should be replaced every 3 months;

3. Creating a physical barrier to egg laying using a fine mesh or netting (old curtains may be an option for home gardens). Make sure the mesh is not resting on the fruit and that there are no holes for the flies to get in;

4. Killing adult flies using:

  • protein bait sprays (contain protein and an insecticide) which are most effective on newly emerged flies that are hungry and need to feed on protein to mate and lay their eggs. Bait sprays need to be applied every 7 days (as directed) or more frequently in wet weather;

  • protein traps attract hungry flies which are then either killed by a chemical or drowned in the attractant liquid.

5. Stopping re-infestation by:

  • telling visitors and well-meaning friends and family not to bring infested fruit onto your property;

  • removing unwanted fruit trees along driveways and nature strips;

  • helping neighbours to manage their fruit and vegetables;

  • grow vegies that don't host QFF;

  • plough in vegetable gardens as soon as they have finished producing.

Picture: Applied Horticultural Research

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