Agriculture: Fig Pest Management Guidelines

Vinegar Flies

  • Vinegar Flies: Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila spp.
  • Description of the Pest

    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

    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.

    Management

    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.

    Text Updated: 07/06