REPORT A PEST

Mexican Fruit Fly FAQs

What Does the Mexican Fruit Fly Look Like?

Mexican fruit fly is a pale orange-yellow color with two to three whitish stripes along the thorax. The wings are clear with several yellow and brown stripes.

When Was Mexican Fruit Fly First Found in the United States?

It was found along the California-Mexico border in the early 1950s.

Where is the Mexican Fruit Fly Currently Found in the United States?

The Mexican fruit fly is currently not in the U.S., but Texas is at risk. For a map showing high risk areas, visit the Pest Tracker.

What Types of Plants Does the Mexican Fruit Fly Infest?

More than 50 host plants have been recorded as "favorites." Commercially grown crops in California that can host the Mexican fruit fly include peach, avocado, orange, grapefruit and pear.

What Kind of Damage Can the Mexican Fruit Fly Cause?

Fruit that has been attacked by the Mexican fruit fly is unfit to eat. Its larvae feed while tunneling through the interior of infested fruits. Microscopic organisms then invade these injured areas, causing internal decay of the fleshy portions of the fruit. As the fruit becomes infested and decays it falls to the ground, thereby destroying the crop.

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

A Federal quarantine for the Mexican fruit fly is in place in Texas. The most current eradication and quarantine projects can be viewed at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/fruit_flies/quarantine.shtml. Or, you can see the Pest Tracker for a general overview of high risk areas.

What Methods are Used to Control the Mexican Fruit Fly Population?

Three kinds of treatments are used: 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 Mexican fruit fly quarantine.

 

It's also important to cooperate with any quarantine restrictions or rules that might be imposed because of a Mexican fruit fly find in your area, and allow authorized agricultural workers access to your property to inspect fruit and Mexican fruit fly traps for signs of an infestation.