Citrus Fruit Flies

Fruit affected by citrus fruit flies may appear normal from the outside but will be brown and rotten within. Fruit fly populations cause citrus to drop prematurely from the trees, leading to crop losses. The Queensland and Mediterranean fruit flies are primary citrus pests. These fruit flies belong to the family Tephritidae and are not to be confused with the fruit flies people see in their homes which belong to the family Drosophilidae. Citrus fruit flies are an agricultural pest.

close up of fruit fly

Queensland fruit flies are approximately 7 mm in length and are reddish brown in color, with distinctive, oval-shaped, yellow markings. Although all varieties of citrus may be affected by this species, they are most attracted to grapefruits and Meyer lemons.

Mediterranean fruit flies are attracted to lemons and mandarins and also cause damage to deciduous fruit crops such as apples, peaches and pears. Mediterranean fruit flies measure approximately 6 mm in length. The thorax of the Mediterranean fruit fly is spotted in black and white, while the wings exhibit yellow-brown stripes and dots. Mediterranean fruit flies are capable of laying eggs within any kind of mature fruit, including citrus, stone fruit, papayas and quinces, as well as vegetables such as peppers, avocados and tomatoes.