Fruit fly

We are responsible for keeping South Australia fruit fly free.

Travelling into South Australia from interstate or into the Riverland from within the state?

With zero tolerance now in place at the Yamba quarantine station and all random roadblocks, if caught with uncertified fruit or fruiting vegetables you could face fines and penalties of up to $100,000. Find out what you need to do to help keep South Australia fruit fly free and avoid a fine on our bringing fruit and vegetables into South Australia page.

Check your food

Use our handy Food Checker to see what fruit, vegetables and other food products you can and can't bring into South Australia.

How to identify and report - fruit fly hotline

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

Check your own homegrown and shop-bought  produce regularly, if you find maggots in fruit, vegetables, or other plants, call the 24-hour fruit fly hotline on 1300 666 010 to report it.

Current outbreaks and detections

View current fruit fly detections and outbreaks information.

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:

Preparing for and dealing with outbreaks

To help growers, packhouses and suppliers prepare for an outbreak, use the:

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 2017-18 the estimated farm-gate value of the state’s horticultural produce vulnerable to fruit fly infestation, including wine grapes, was $1.2 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 $101 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:


24 hour Fruit Fly reporting hotline: 1300 666 010

Page Last Reviewed: 30 Jan 2020

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