sanitize and select:
the simplest, cleanest methods of fruit fly control

sanitizing for fruit fly control

This page starts the discussion on general methods for fruit fly control, of all types of fruit flies, on all types of fruit. Sanitizing involves cleaning up your crop plants regularly, to break the life cycle of the fruit fly and prevent it multiplying.

Every day pick up all fallen fruit, but also pick all fruit with dimples or weeping sap, or prematurely ripe fruit, signs of having been stung, as soon as possible. It may be too late when the fruit have fallen to the ground, because the larvae may have left the fallen fruit to pupate in the soil.

The larvae and pupae must be destroyed to prevent future generations of fruit fly and there are many natural or organic means of destroying them. You can do this by soaking the fruit in water for two days, and then discarding them, or making a liquid fermentation (you can use as plant food) with the fruit in a bucket of water, or feeding the fruit to livestock before any larvae emerge, or to chickens which eat larvae in the fruit and scratch in the ground for pupae. The fruit can also be buried 2 feet deep, too deep for the flies to emerge (see the life cycle, referring to the shallowness in the soil at which the larvae pupate), or the larvae can be destroyed by heat in well managed hot composting or by the fruit being boiled and then fed to animals, or placed in a sealed clear bag in the sun.  The whole host plant can be removed if it is a practical solution, and the residues of the crop plants can be disposed of after harvest.

selecting for fruit fly control

As fruit fly multiply through the summer, earlier harvesting fruit are less likely to be severely attacked, especially in areas with cold winters where the fruit fly die off, so select early fruiting plants. Also grow dwarf varieties of fruit tries or train them as espaliers, or keep them trimmed under 2.5m to enable cleaning up stung fruit more easily, also using the rule of thumb that you remove all fruit you cannot reach easily. Select fruit that are less fruit fly prone, and avoid planting fruits you don't eat often and will neglect, as these fruit are less useful to you and may re-infest your other crops. In South Africa a lot of commercially available fruit fly controls are either very pricey or very poisonous. Homemade lures are often not totally effective, and bagging fruit is time consuming. This, and experience, leads some authors to the conclusion that the most effective organic solution for avoiding fruit fly damage is just not to supply host plants. The harvest of crops that are vulnerable to fruit fly, such as thin skinned fruits, should be timed not to come in high summer, the worst months for fruit fly. This would be January to March in South Africa. Rip out soft skinned crops in December.  No fruit fly host plants should fruit after this time. Thick skinned varieties of fruits such as cucurbits can fill this timing gap as an alternative. Pumpkins are a good example of thick skinned fruit.



home page for great links and useful tips on home gardening


vegetable gardening the natural, low cost methods


the fruit fly life cycle and its usefulness in choosing control measures


link to a useful, organically minded source on fruit fly control

Restore Nature Newsletter 

I've been writing for four years now and I would love to hear from you

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or stories to share on gardening, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, food forests, natural gardening, do nothing gardening, observations about pests and diseases, foraging, dealing with and using weeds constructively, composting and going offgrid.

[ ? ]

Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional)[ ? ]


Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

  •  submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)


Our New Book  

DIY Grey Water Wetland

Build your own system and grow fruit and vegetables with your dish water and other waste water at home

Order the Kindle E-book for the SPECIAL PRICE of only


Prices valid till 30.09.2023

Recent Articles

  1. German snails

    Jun 21, 24 07:18 AM

    lovely video on german snail species their uses in the garden as indicators composters:

    Read More

  2. Curious about your 'Hardy garden mushroom'

    May 30, 24 02:48 AM

    Your site was 1 of my top results while doing an image search through Google. The image I used was a fairly poor picture that I took of some mushrooms

    Read More

  3. Rose

    Dec 17, 23 04:08 AM

    I am doing research on growing wildlife foraging plants to use in enhancement plantings with wildlife in mind. My thoughts after seeing bears too skinny

    Read More

How to make

$ -MONEY - $

with earthworms

The Book 

"How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget 

Order a printed copy from "Amazon"  at the SPECIAL PRICE of only


or a digital version from the "Kindle" store at the SPECIAL PRICE of only


Prices valid till 30.09.2023



How to make good Compost.


Worms Recycle Dog Poop