How To Combat Fruit Fly

Fruit fly-on peach

Yes you know them, those annoying little flies that are not only destructive, a nuisance but also unsanitary as they sometimes carry harmful bacteria.

In Australia, fruit flies are a cause of great distress and annoyance to a lot of home garden owners as they are known to destroy a range of nurtured vegetable and fruit crops within a short space of time.

Because the entire life cycle of the fruit fly takes between 1-2 weeks, they are known to increase rapidly in number with the female fruit flies laying up to 500 eggs at a time in favorable breeding areas or grounds.

How then can the infestation of fruit flies in our gardens be combated especially as they seem to multiply before our very own eyes?

 1. Destruction of feeding and breeding ground (source of attraction)

Fruit flies are majorly attracted to fruits and vegetables that are overripe. Care should be taken to pick out fruits and vegetables as soon as they become ripe. Rotten fruit, vegetable or plant material should not be left in the garden.

A clean garden free of debris is also important as fruit flies are known to live through the winter within them.

Finally, engage in proper compost management as fruit flies are greatly attracted to compost. For this reason, ensure that compost is at all times aerated and possibly contained or covered with a lid so as to reduce the fruit flies.

pheromone trap fruit flies

Pheromone Trap Fruit Flies

 2.  Using a pheromone trap

The pheromone trap is a successful form of mating disruption thus impeding egg-laying by the female fruit flies.

The concept behind the pheromone trap is that the male fruit flies are attracted to a powder containing the pheromone which is a female attractant. With the pheromone on the bodies of the male fruit flies, other males are attracted to them hence mating process is disrupted and egg-laying hindered. The effectiveness of the pheromone traps is in its ability to travel over long distances.

 3.  Use of protein-based baits

Because fruit flies need protein rich food to mature and sustain them, protein based baits (solution of protein and insecticide in water) are used to attract both male and female.

The protein-based bait is spot sprayed every two meters apart for effectiveness. After feeding on the droplets of the dispersed product, the fruit flies are killed. This method is intended for fruit fly control and the baits need to be changed every week.

4.  Exclusion method

This method of fruit fly control using exclusion bags or mesh over ripening fruits prevents the female fruit fly from getting to and laying her eggs in the fruit.

It is more effective to combine this method with the use of traps.


In conclusion, educate your neighbors on these methods of combating fruit flies such that with a wider area of kill, your fruit, vegetables and indeed whole garden is fruit fly free.  And of course, if Jim’s Mowing and Gardening team can help maintain your garden, as a one-off clean up or regular visits, don’t hesitate to call 131 546 or book a Jim online for a free quote.


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