Cucumber fruit fly







Bactrocera cucumis


The adults have brown bodies with yellow markings. They are very similar to the Queensland fruit fly but have prominent yellow stripes along their thorax.

Adult size: 

Out and about

They like the warmer, humid conditions and are most abundant from mid spring to early autumn when plants are producing fruit. . They are native to Australia and confined mainly to the east coast of Queensland.

Reproduction and Life cycle

The tiny (1 mm) eggs are white and crescent-shaped, hatching into pale cream maggots (6-8 mm). The maggots become more yellow as they develop, finally emerging and dropping onto the ground where they pupate in the soil. In ideal conditions the life cycle of one generation can be completed in 4 weeks. The female can lay hundreds of eggs in her lifetime and they live for many weeks, feeding on honeydew and nectar.

To deter

To control

- Spinosad is a naturally occurring bacterium which disrupts their nervous system causing a quick death. There is a product available which contains spinosad with fruit fly pheromones added to it so that it attracts and targets only fruit flies. This has been devised for the Queensland fruit fly but we don’t seem to get the cucumber fly either when this is applied. Apply to something near the plant (such as stakes) at intervals of a few metres. It is not necessary to apply it on the plant or the fruit for it to work. - Commercial traps are available which lure the male fruit fly. They can be used as an indicator of the presence of fruit flies - Cover fruit to prevent fruit flies from laying eggs - Clean up ALL rotted and rotting fruit and place in a black plastic bag or in the freezer for a few days to kill them. DO NOT ADD TO COMPOST.

Plants to repel

Basil (plant with tomatoes) / Lad’s love and other plants that repel flies may help

Plants to attract


Why they are a Pest
It is a pest of cucurbits (cucumber, pumpkin, marrows, zucchini) as well as tomatoes, papaw, guava, and passion fruit. The female fly lays her eggs in the fruit. The eggs hatch into maggots that feed on the fruit as they develop, causing it to rot from the inside. Evidence of fruit having been stung is visible as small brown marks that may be raised lumps.