How to Manage Pests
UC Pest Management Guidelines
Scientific Name: Drosophila melanogaster
(Reviewed 11/05, updated 11/05)
In this Guideline:
DESCRIPTION OF THE PEST
Vinegar flies, also known as fruit flies, are small, tan to amber-colored flies with red eyes, about 0.12 inch (3 mm) long. Larvae are small, white, legless maggots that get up to 0.2 inch (5 mm) long. They differ from driedfruit beetle larvae in that they do not have a hardened head capsule.
Damage is similar to the driedfruit beetle in that the presence of vinegar flies in fruit causes downgrading or rejection of fruit. Vinegar flies are also responsible for transmitting spoilage organisms to sound fruit. Late ripening varieties are especially susceptible to damage as vinegar flies become widespread in tremendous numbers.
Vinegar flies breed in any fermenting or decaying fruit but do not affect undamaged fruit. Remove or disc under damaged fruit to reduce the population. Harvest rapidly and early to reduce exposure of fruit to infestation. Sanitation is key to control.
UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines:
Insects and Mites
E. T. Natwick, UC Cooperative Extension, Imperial County
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects and Mites:R. L. Coviello, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County
C. B. Fouche, UC Cooperative Extension, San Joaquin County
L. D. Godfrey, Entomology, UC Davis
J. B. LeBoeuf, AgiData Sensing, Inc., Fresno
M. Murray, UC Cooperative Extension, Colusa and Glenn counties
C. G. Summers, Entomology, UC Davis and Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier