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Family Drosophilidae contains over 50 species - for the purposes of this text they will be discussed in general terms. Slight morphological and behavioural differences are not critical to the discussion of control of these pests.


Adult mated females are capable of laying 20 - 25 eggs per day to a maximum of around 800. Eggs are laid on the food substrate of the larvae, which pass through three instars after hatching. Pupation generally occurs away from the food substrate. The full life cycle can be completed in as little as 8 days under favourable conditions.

Pest Status

Where infestation develop in industrial areas and kitchens, the propensity of some species for feeding on excrement and detritus and translocating bacteria make this family a serious pest. Generation time is remarkably short and breeding potential exacerbates the significance of this pest.


These species are almost always associated with fermentation. Prevention of debris collecting in drains and gullies is essential. Frequent washing down of areas of infestation is recommended. Subject to local regulations, space sprays, baits and residual treatments may be of benefit in their control.

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