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South Africa is host to two species of fruit flies of economic importance, the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) and the Natal fruit fly (C. rosa).

Both species are international quarantine pests.

Mediterranean Fruit Fly
Mediterranean Fruit Fly
Natal Fruit Fly (image–picker & Griffiths)
Natal Fruit Fly (image–picker & Griffiths)


Fruit Fly Africa plan, co-ordinate and execute area-wide fruit fly control programmes in collaboration with producers and local government in various production regions in partnership with the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).

The programmes are based on international best practice as contained in the Technical Manual drafted in line with the requirements and conditions set by the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC). Area based programmes are tailor-made for specific production regions. The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) forms part of the integrated approach.


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Establish operations and communications centres responsible for effective liaison on all fruit fly management activities in all relevant areas.

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Host plant management: identification of all fruit fly host plants in all areas; removal or management (e.g. stripping, baiting) in all urban areas.

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Installation and maintenance of fruit fly traps for the area-wide programme.

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Monitoring, fruit fly identification, and data management using GIS.

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Routine sampling of commercial and wild fruit for fruit fly infestation.

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Regular feedback to growers on the status of fruit fly populations on their farms and relevant urban areas.

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Baiting of non-farm hotspots, including the use of bait stations where appropriate.

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Coordination and supervision of area-wide baiting (aerial or ground) if requested by any area.

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Decision on the readiness of any area for releases of sterile flies.

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Regular releases of sterile fruit flies in all target areas, and monitoring of effectiveness the management programme.

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Liaison with national and international role players and stakeholders.

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Advice and recommendations on all aspects of fruit fly management.

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Public relations and awareness programmes.

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Liaison with national and international fruit fly and SIT experts as needed.


The role of producers in ‘micro-managing’ fruit flies on their own farms is crucial in an area-wide fruit fly management programme, whether by conventional means or by SIT.

The degree of success with which it is done will make or break any such programme.

Fly IconOn-farm host plant management activities (incl. gardens, workers’ compounds and on-farm hotspots).

Fly IconOrchard/vineyard sanitation.

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On-farm baiting activities (including in gardens, workers’ compounds and other on-farm hotspots)


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