Mediterranean Fruit Fly FAQs

What Does the Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Medfly) Look Like?

The Medfly has a blackish thorax marked with silver, a tan abdomen with darker stripes and clear wings with light brown bands and gray flecks. It is slightly smaller than a house fly.

Where was the Medfly First Found in the United States?

The first of numerous U.S. mainland infestations was in Florida in 1929.

Where is the Medfly Currently Found in the United States?

The Medfly is currently found in California and Hawaii. For a map showing current quarantines and high risk areas, visit the Pest Tracker.

What Types of Plants Does the Medfly Infest?

The Medfly has been recorded infesting hundreds of varieties of cultivated and wild fruits, vegetables and nuts, including apple, avocado, bell pepper, citrus, melon, peach, plum and tomato.

What Kind of Damage Can the Medfly Cause?

The female Medfly attacks ripening fruit, piercing the soft skin and laying eggs in the puncture. The eggs hatch into larvae (maggots) that feed inside the fruit pulp and render the fruit inedible. As the larvae develop and feed on the pulp, the fruit decays and falls to the ground, thereby destroying the crop.

Are Quarantine and/or Eradication in Place for the Medfly?

Federal Medfly quarantine is in effect and eradication activities are underway in portions of California and Florida. The most current eradication and quarantine projects can be viewed on the APHIS quarantine page. Or, you can see the Pest Tracker for a general overview of the federal quarantines and high risk areas.

What Methods are used to Control the Medfly Population?

Three kinds of treatment are used alone or in combination to eradicate the Medfly: bait spray, the sterile insect technique (SIT) and/or directed insecticide applications. For more information on pest management techniques, visit the Pest Management page.

What Can We Do?

Do not bring or mail fresh fruits, vegetables or plants into the U.S. or your state unless agricultural inspectors have cleared them beforehand. Never remove fresh produce from your property when your area is under Medfly quarantine.