Prevention, detection and eradication of fruit fly

South Australia is fruit fly free. An outbreak can only occur if maggot-infested fruit or vegetables are brought into the state.

Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) uses quarantine restrictions, early detection and eradication measures to prevent and manage outbreaks.


We prevent fruit fly from coming into South Australia, and particularly the Riverland, through:

Protection against fruit fly fact sheet (PDF 753.9 KB)


Trapping sites

We use traps to warn us that adult fruit flies are present in an area. Trapping sites are located in metropolitan Adelaide, the northern Adelaide Plains, the Adelaide Hills, the Riverland and country towns.

Public alerts

We rely on you to tell us if you:

  • find maggots in your fruit and vegetables
  • have seen fruit flies.

Call the fruit fly hotline on 1300 666 010.


When fruit flies are found we immediately deploy additional traps in the immediate area and check fruiting trees to see if larvae are present.  If an isolated detection becomes a declared outbreak, we:

  • quarantine an area 1.5km radius around the site
  • destroy all fruit on infested  trees growing in the quarantine area
  • stop raw fruit from being taken out of the area
  • eradicate all fruit flies using bait spotting and sterile insect technique
  • pick up any fallen fruit within the quarantine area
  • manage green waste disposal from the quarantine area to make sure that it is appropriately treated.

Bait spotting

We use bait spotting to destroy fruit flies.
Spots of organic fruit fly bait are applied onto plants once or twice a week for several weeks. The baits attract and kill the fruit flies.

The bait is made with Naturalure™ fruit fly bait concentrate diluted with water.  Naturalure™ has been certified as organic by Biological Farmers of Australia.

Sterile insect technique

Where applicable we release sterile fruit flies into the quarantine area after completing bait spotting. The decision to release sterile flies is made in consultation with entomologists and based on factors such as the time of year at which detections are made and the number of flies discovered.

During a sterile fly release, 100,000 sterile flies are released per square kilometre once or twice a week for up to 12 weeks.

Releasing sterile fruit flies limits the chances of wild fruit flies reproducing. Eggs laid after the sterile and wild fruit flies mate will be infertile.

Sterile insect technology (SIT) facility

The State Government has released the architect’s designs on the $3.8 million Sterile Insect Technology (SIT) facility that will support a five year $50m national research and development collaboration to produce a sterile line of male Queensland fruit fly.

Construction is scheduled to begin before June 2015 and expected to be completed in July 2016. The State Government is working closely with Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA Ltd) in maximising the benefit of this landmark facility nationally.

Architectural drawings of SIT facility:

Architect Designs for Port Augusta sterile Q-fly plant released - media release 22 December 2014

Find out more

Page Last Reviewed: 08 Dec 2014
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