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Disposal of infested fruit

It is important to check your fruit and vegetables for Queensland fruit fly infestations and dispose of any infested fruit correctly.

It is essential that you act quickly when you have confirmed Queensland fruit fly, so you can prevent them completing their lifecycle.

Is my fruit infested?

To check if your fruit or vegetables have been infested with Queensland fruit fly:

  • Select fruit or vegetables from different sides of the tree/plant and different heights of the canopy.

  • Look for early ripening fruit or signs of damage.

  • Carefully cut open the fruit with a sharp knife and look for larvae, they can be very small – 2mm when they hatch.

  • Small black spots on the surface or sap seeping from the fruit can also be a sign of QFF infestation.

In infested fruit you are looking for the fruit fly larvae or maggots. When the maggots first hatch they are very small, around 1 to 2 mm in size. As they start to feed on the host fruit they increase in size and a fully grown maggot is around 6 to 9 mm in size. 


Maggots are creamy white/pale yellow in colour and when placed on a smooth surface they curl up and jump. Mature maggots chew their way out of the fruit (which has generally fallen to the ground) and burrow into the soil.

Peach tree fallen fruit 1a.jpg

Act quickly


Remove all effected fruit from the tree and from off the ground immediately to prevent the further increase and spread of fruit fly numbers.

  • The eggs will hatch into larvae within only one to two days.

  • It only takes between 7 to 14 days for the larvae to complete their development.

  • Fruit needs to be removed as soon as possible to stop the Queensland fruit fly lifecycle.

  • If left on the tree or plant, the fruit will prematurely drop to the ground and the larvae will crawl into the soil within 24 hours.

  • It is important to regularly collect and destroy all fallen fruit and keep the ground clean at all times.

Kill all fruit fly larvae (maggots) before disposing

It is important that all infested fruit be treated so that the larvae inside is killed and not able to grow into adult flies.

Treatments options for infested fruit and vegetables include:

  • Boiling or microwaved fruit to kill larvae.

  • Placing fruits or vegetables into plastic bag, tightly tied or larger amounts can be placed in an airtight plastic drum or bucket with a lid.

    • Leave the plastic bags or drums in the sun for 7-10 days or until the larvae are dead.

  • Infested fruit can also be deeply buried, but it is imperative that it is covered with a minimum of 50cm of soil or the flies will survive.  


Once you are sure that all larvae and flies are dead you can put into your rubbish bin.


Mildura Rural City Council green bins

Fruit or vegetables infested with Queensland fruit fly can be disposed on into the Mildura Rural City Council green bins.

  1. Put fruit into an AS certified compostable bag. Compostable bags have the compostable seeding logo as pictures.

  2. Place the sealed compostable bag in the full sun or freezer for 7-10 days to kill the larvae. 

  3. Dispose of the compostable bag and fruit contents all into the Green Bin.

For more information on the MRCC green bins click here

Compostable bag and fruit fly.jpg

“We tested these bags in the middle of a Sunraysia summer and they do not breakdown in the hot sun”

Compostable logo.jpg

Ensure you select bags that have the AS compostable logo and these bags will decompose along with the organic material they contain. 

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