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Species Page

Oriental fruit fly

Bactrocera dorsalis
This information is part of a full datasheet available in the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC). Find out more information on how to access the CPC.
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.


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Host plants / species affected

Main hosts

show all species affected
Musa acuminata (wild banana)
Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean)
Pouteria campechiana (canistel)
Syzygium jambos (rose apple)
Syzygium malaccense (Malay apple)
Ziziphus mauritiana (jujube)

List of symptoms / signs

Fruit - internal feeding
Fruit - lesions: black or brown
Fruit - premature drop


Following oviposition there may be some necrosis around the puncture mark ('sting'). This is followed by decomposition of the fruit.

Prevention and control

Regulatory Control

Systems approach and post-harvest treatments are currently being used in import protocols of fruit commodities regarded as susceptible to B. dorsalis from countries where the pest is present. Post-harvest treatments against B. dorsalis include heat treatments, cold treatments, ionizing radiation and fumigation (Dohino et al., 2017). In systems approach, at least two independent risk mitigation measures which can include pre- and/or post-harvest measures should be used. Pre-harvest control measures which would mitigate the risk of B. dorsalis are provided below. A combination of pre-harvest measures is recommended for effective control of B. dorsalis.

Cultural Control and Sanitary Methods

One of the most effective control techniques against fruit flies in general is to wrap fruit, either in newspaper, a paper bag, or in the case of long/thin fruits, a polythene sleeve. This is a simple physical barrier to oviposition, but it has to be applied well before the fruit is attacked. There is also some evidence that neem seed kernel extract can deter oviposition (Shivendra Singh and Singh, 1998). Early harvesting is also an effective control strategy for mango (Gajendra Singh et al., 1997). Little information is available on the attack time for most fruits but few Bactrocera spp. attack prior to ripening.

Other control and sanitary methods include the removal and destruction of fallen fruits because they may harbour larvae that could form a next generation. Destruction can either be by burning, deep burrowing (at least 0.5 m below the surface), feeding them to pigs, or putting the fruits in dark-coloured plastic bags and placing them in the sun (so that the inside temperature rises and kills the larvae).

Another method is raking or disturbing the soil below the fruit trees using other means. This will expose the puparia, leading to desiccation or predation by other organisms.

Biological control

Classical biological control using the hymenopteran parasitoid, Fopius arisanus, has been successful in Hawaii (Clausen et al., 1965). F. arisanus was also introduced in different African countries and Indian Ocean islands (Mohammed et al., 2016). In Benin, field parasitism rates of B. dorsalis by F. arisanus of up to 21% were recorded when sampling indigenous fruit (Gnanvossou et al., 2016).

Soil application of entomopathogenic fungi in combination with protein bait sprays reduced fruit infestation by B. dorsalis in Kenya (Ekesi et al., 2011).

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:


B. dorsalis is a very serious pest of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables throughout its range and damage levels can be anything up to 100% of unprotected fruit.