Queensland fruit fly

Queensland Fruit Fly with yellow markings situated on an orange peel

Fruit flies are a significant threat to horticulture. They can have major impacts on Australia's capacity to trade competitively in international markets. The effective management Queensland fruit fly ensures producers can develop, maintain and enhance access into domestic and international markets.

Queensland fruit fly is a pest that requires everyone to be involved in controlling the insect and restricting its spread.


The main way that Queensland fruit fly spreads to new areas is by being carried in infested host fruit and vegetables. QFF has the potential to infest a wide range of horticultural crops, garden plants, native plants and weeds.

Host fruit (PDF, 894 KB) cannot be transported into the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area or across some state borders unless the consignment is accompanied by an industry certification arrangement or a permit issued by a state authority.

Pest Free Area

The Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area (GSPFA) was created in 2007 by agreement between New South Wales and Victoria. The GSPFA follows the course of the Murray River from Kerang to Wentworth and the Darling River from Wentworth to Pooncarie. The Pest Free Area enables commercial horticultural products to be marketed without postharvest chemical treatments for Queensland fruit fly.

Movement of host fruit

As of July 1 2013 there is no longer a requirement to treat and certify QFF host produce moving into or within New South Wales and Victoria excluding the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area.

For the remainder of New South Wales and Victoria, host produce can be moved without certification on the condition that the fruit is free of QFF. Businesses and individuals found to be transporting infested fruit will face regulatory action.

If you currently hold a Certification Assurance arrangement (e.g. a CA or ICA) for access to QFF sensitive markets like Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area, you should consider maintaining these arrangements to ensure continued market access. Please check with the destination state to ensure your accreditation is accepted.

The department remains committed to assisting industry in managing fruit fly and will continue to provide ongoing support to the industry, including trapping, market access negotiations, certification, technical advice and research to provide area freedom from exotic fruit flies (such as Mediterranean fruit fly).

Area Wide - Integrated Pest Management videos

This recently completed project successfully demonstrated that we can effectively suppress endemic populations of Queensland fruit fly using an Area Wide - Integrated Pest Management (AW-IPM) approach incorporating the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT).

One of the key outputs were animated maps of the SIT-treated orchards, permitting a movie-clip type visual representation of the temporal progression of wild and sterile male and female Queensland fruit fly activity across two commercial orchards.

About the insect

Queensland fruit fly is different from the small dark brown drosophila flies (also called vinegar flies or ferment flies) that loiter around ripe and decaying fruit. Drosophila flies are not agricultural pests but can be a nuisance where fruit and vegetables are stored.

Queensland fruit fly is native to eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales. The ready availability of suitable hosts and habitat in urban and horticultural production areas in Queensland, Northern Territory, New South Wales and Victoria has enabled QFF to expand its natural range.

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Queensland fruit fly resources