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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Come together to mass trap Mango fruit fly

Bactrocera spp.

Recognize the problem

Mango fruit flies ("Vidudu" in Swahili) inject their eggs into young fruits. The eggs hatch into larvae that grow and eat inside the fruit. You cannot control them with chemicals because larvae are hidden inside fruit. The larvae cause the fruit to rot and the fruit drops down before ripening. Some attacked fruits remain attached to the tree, but are of low quality. The fruit fly adult is a small winged insect of about 1 cm length. The fruit flies look like a house fly in shape but it is smaller, and its body nicely coloured. Larvae inside the fruit are of yellowish white colour, 0.5 to 1 cm long and 1 to 2 mm thick, and there are usually many of them.


The adult fruit flies are good fliers and search for fruits by smelling them. There are enormous amounts of fruit flies. Therefore, you can only manage them if all farmers in your area conduct pest management.


  • Cut a plastic water bottle it into 2 halves. Fill fermented mango juice, cider vinegar, fermented banana, or other fermented fruit juice into ¼ the lower bottle. You may add 2-5 drops of insecticides into the fermented juice.
  • Invert upper half of the bottle and insert it like a funnel into the lower half.
  • Hang traps into the lower canopy of each mango tree at late flowering stage. Also traps in guava trees are needed.
  • Place at least 10 traps per 100 square metres which is the same as a football playground.
  • The fermented juice attracts fruit flies which get down the funnel and fall into the juice.
  • This control method only works if many farmers participate. Come together with your farmer community to plan, construct, and use the bait traps.

When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania

Authors: L. K. Mahoo, Mwangi Jubilant, K. Mtembei
P.O. Box 22, Lushoto
tel: +255 787055853 email:
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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