How to stop fruit fly in your home garden

You can help stop fruit fly in South Australia through maintaining good cleaning practices in your garden at home.

A clean garden can help prevent fruit fly from reproducing by interrupting the lifecycle.

What you need to do if you're in a fruit fly outbreak

Use our checklist if you are living in a current fruit fly outbreak to help keep your garden clean and free from fruit fly.

Step 1: Keep home-grown fruit and vegetables on your property

If you are in an outbreak area, you must not remove fresh home-grown fruit, fruiting vegetables or garden waste from your property.

You cannot take fresh, home-grown fruit in lunch boxes for work or school.

You can still eat, cook or preserve them. Items that have been cooked or preserved are allowed to be removed from the outbreak area.

If in a suspension area, reduce or stop the movement of your fresh home-grown fruit or fruiting vegetables from your property (and do not remove them from the suspension area). The less movement of home-grown fruit, the less risk of potential spread of fruit fly. You can still eat, cook or preserve them.

Current fruit fly outbreak areas

Step 2: Check your home-grown fruit for fruit fly

Check your fruit by cutting it in half and looking for maggots. You can also look for blemishes on the skin of the fruit where the female fruit fly has laid eggs.

If you find maggots or anything that looks suspicious, place the fruit in an airtight container and contact the 24 hour Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010.

Learn how to identify fruit fly

Step 3: Clean up over-ripe or fallen fruit and place in your green bin

If you are in an outbreak area, collect fallen or over-ripe fruit and fruiting vegetables from around your property and place them in your green bin. Don't put them in compost.

Disposing of fallen or unwanted fruit the correct way (in your green bin), ensures the larvae do not survive. You can also call the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010 to arrange collection.

Trimming and pruning your trees makes it easier to harvest your fruit and eliminate potential sources for fruit flies from unharvested fruit left high up on tree branches.

Cleaning up fruit and vegetables from your garden helps prevents female fruit flies from finding a place to lay eggs.

Step 4: Use up leftover home-grown fruit - eat, cook or preserve it

If you are in an outbreak area, you can still eat, cook or preserve any excess home-grown fruit and fruiting vegetables.

Produce that has been cooked or preserved can be removed from the outbreak area - but make sure you keep all fresh produce on your property.

Step 5: Allow PIRSA access to your garden for organic baiting

Baiting is a critical step in eliminating fruit flies from outbreak areas. Allow easy access to your front and back gardens so PIRSA staff can do their work quickly. Fruit flies can live and feed in many trees and shrubs – not just fruit trees.

The bait used is certified organic and non-toxic, so it is safe around your family, pets, and wildlife. It is most effective when applied to trees around your property, particularly host fruit fly trees to help eliminate fruit fly as quickly as possible.

The certified organic bait is safe for fruit trees and should not impact their growth or ability to fruit. Our teams target perennial plants when applying bait and do not need to apply the certified organic bait to soft herbs and annual ornamental plants.

All PIRSA staff are fully trained and vetted prior to employment, and always carry official photo ID. During visits, PIRSA staff will be wearing orange overalls.

During COVID-19 we'll make sure to follow social distancing measures, while keeping your backyard free of fruit fly.

Brochures and posters for residents in multiple languages

Download a brochure or poster so you can remember the steps to take if you live within a fruit fly outbreak.

Fruit fly brochures and posters in multiple languages

All home gardeners can help fight fruit fly

Even if you are not in a fruit fly outbreak or suspension area, we still need your help to stop fruit fly in South Australia by maintaining good cleaning practices in your garden at home. You can help by:

For more information, please take a look at our frequently asked questions page.

Video - how to stop fruit fly in your backyard

Watch and learn how to stop fruit fly in your backyard in our short video.

Page Last Reviewed: 19 Aug 2020
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