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How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

An adult vinegar fly or small fruit fly, Drosophila sp.


Vinegar Flies

Scientific Name: Drosophila spp., principally D. melanogaster

(Reviewed 7/06, updated 7/06)

In this Guideline:


Drosophila adults are small, tan to amber-colored flies with red eyes, about 0.12 inch long. Larvae are small, white, legless maggots that are up to 0.2 inch long when mature. They differ from driedfruit beetle larvae in that they do not have a sclerotized head capsule.


Damage is similar to the driedfruit beetle in that presence of vinegar flies in the fruit causes downgrading or rejection of the fruit. Vinegar flies are also responsible for transmitting spoilage organisms to sound fruit. Late ripening varieties are especially susceptible to damage.


Vinegar flies breed in any fermenting or decaying fruit. Remove or disc under these hosts to reduce the population. The flies are cool season pests; complete harvest rapidly and early to reduce exposure of fruit to infestation. Chemicals applied for driedfruit beetle control will partially reduce vinegar fly populations.


[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Fig
UC ANR Publication 3447
Insects and Mites
R. L. Coviello, UC UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County
W. J. Bentley, UC IPM Program, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier

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