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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Mediterranean Fruit Fly

The Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata or Medfly) is considered the most important agricultural pest in the world. The fly has spread throughout the Mediterranean region, southern Europe, the Middle East, Western Australia, South and Central America and Hawaii. It has been recorded infesting a wide range of commercial and garden fruits, nuts and vegetables, such as apple, avocado, bell pepper, citrus, melon, peach, plum and tomato.

  • The female Medfly attacks ripening fruit, piercing the soft skin and laying eggs in the puncture.
  • The eggs hatch into larvae that feed inside the fruit pulp and render the fruit inedible.

What Is At Risk?

The Mediterranean Fruit Fly infest more than 300 hundreds of varieties of fruits, vegetables and nuts. Some hosts include:  Almond with husk, Apple, Apricot, Avocado, Bell pepper, Cherry, Citrus, Coffee, Eggplant, Fig, Grape, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Lemon, Lime, Mango, Nectarine, Olive, Papaya, Peach, Pear, Persimmon, Plum, Pomegranate, Tangerine, Tomato, and Walnut.

What Is The Source?

Fresh produce, fruit and vegetables brought into the U.S. without inspection.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms?

  1. Fallen fruit with early decay
  2. Visible adult flies: a blackish thorax marked with silver, a tan abdomen with darker stripes and clear wings with light brown bands and gray flecks

Image by Mourad LOUADFEL |                                 Image by Mariano Muñiz /

How Can You Help?

To prevent the spread of fruit flies through infested fruits and vegetables, residents are urged not to move any fruits or vegetables from their property.  Fruits and vegetables may be consumed or processed (i.e. juiced, frozen, cooked, or ground in the garbage disposal) at the property of origin. If they are not consumed or processed, dispose of them by double-bagging them in plastic bags and putting the bags in the garbage bin for collection.

  • Never remove fresh produce from your property if you live in an infested area.
  • Cooperate with all regulation restrictions or rules that might be imposed.
  • Allow authorized agricultural workers access to your property to install and inspect insect-monitoring traps.
  • Know the regulations in your area.
  • If you see the Mediterranean Fruit Fly or infested fruit, report it to your State Plant Health Director as soon as possible.

Thank you for cooperating with the USDA in our effort to protect your trees and plants from this invasive pest.


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