Mango Fly: This Bug Gets Under Your Skin

Mango Fly (Meloidogyne fasciata) is a small insect that lives in tropical regions. They are not known to cause any harm to humans. However, they may transmit diseases such as malaria or yellow fever if bitten by infected females.

The female mongoose fly lays eggs inside the fruit of mangoes, papayas and other trees with large fleshy fruits like guavas and passionfruit. These eggs hatch within two weeks after being laid. The larvae feed on the plant juices until they reach adulthood.

Mango fly larvae live only one month before pupating out. At this stage, they become wingless and look similar to tiny ants. They remain in their larval state for another three months before emerging from the ground to begin feeding again.

Once they emerge, they will continue to feed for another year before finally dying. There are around 1 million adult mongoose flies in the world and each one can lay up to 2 million eggs during its lifetime.

In most cases, the adults die off after laying their eggs but there are some species which have a longer life span than others. One of these is the Asian mango fly (Meloidogyne japonica). The adult females are known to live for more than nine months and lay 2,500 eggs during this time.

Mango flies are colorless to pale yellow in appearance, with black heads and red eyes. They are around 0.01 inches long with a wingspan of 0.04 inches.

They are not known to bite humans but the female has a needle-like organ used for injecting eggs into fruits. The males do not have this organ and are much smaller in size.

The adult mango fly prefers laying its eggs inside overripe fruits and the larvae will then feed on the remaining flesh inside. The eggs will hatch in one to two weeks. Female adult flies will generally lay more than 200 eggs in their lifetime.

In addition to mangos, female mongoose flies can also lay their eggs in papayas, guavas, passionfruit and some other similar fruits.

Mangoes are the most popular food infested by this insect as they are soft-bodied and contain a lot of seeds. Most farmers prefer to grow papayas instead since all species of this fruit are infested by flies and it is also easy to spot if there are eggs inside.

The best way to treat your mango tree for mongoose flies is to apply an organic insecticide such as orange oil or neem oil when the fruits begin to ripen. You can also use a chemical insecticide but this should be used as a last resort.

It is nearly impossible to get rid of eggs that have already been laid inside the fruit. In these cases, you need to dispose of the entire tree and choose another one as the flies will keep on returning.

The recommended course of action is to collect all your mangoes before the adult flies have a chance to lay their eggs inside them. If you grow your own fruit trees, apply an insecticide after the first signs of egg laying.

Mangoes are delicious fruits that are also nutritious when consumed in moderation. Avoid keeping too many of them around your house (especially overripe ones) as they will attract insects like the mongoose fly.

Keeping your backyard well-watered will also make it a more attractive place for these flies since they need large quantities of water to breed.

Mangoes are a delicious and nutritious treat so it is understandable that you want to grow as many as possible in your own garden. The best way to protect your crop is by using an organic insecticide such as orange oil or neem oil. This can be applied as a spray when the fruits begin to ripen.

Make sure you dispose of any overripe fruits on a regular basis and keep your backyard well-watered. These steps are just as important to protect the rest of your garden.

This is especially true if you have a lot of ripe fruits such as papayas, guavas and passionfruit in your backyard since these are also favored by the mongoose fly.

This flying insect will lay its eggs inside any ripe or overripe fruit so it is best to remove all such items from your backyard as soon as possible. If there are any fruits with visible holes or pips, dispose of them immediately.

The female mongoose fly will lay eggs inside the flesh of ripe fruits. The eggs will then mature and will be ready to hatch after one to two weeks.

There are several different species of flies called mongoose flies but they all belong to the family of Empidoidea and most have a similar appearance. These insects are also known as dagger flies since females have a sharp needle-like organ used for egg-laying.

Mongoose flies, also known as dagger flies, get their name from an old myth that they suck the “mongeese” out of animals with their sharp mouth parts. Native to Southeast Asia, these flies are now found throughout the world.

The adult mongoose flies have a wingspan of one to one and a half inches. They resembles bees or wasps but are smaller in size. The females have long mouth parts that look like a sharp spike and males have bristle-like hairs around their mouthparts.

These insects can be recognized by their hairy body and thick legs. They can be either black or brown in color.

Dagger flies like to breed in fruit that has begun to rot and can be found breeding in overripe pineapples, coconuts, bananas, figs and avocados. Adults also feed on nectar.

Once the eggs have developed fully, the female mongoose fly will lay its eggs inside a ripened tropical fruit such as a mango. A single female can lay up to 300 eggs during her lifetime which can last for up to three months.

After hatching, the larvae will feed on the fruit and other material found inside the flesh for up to two weeks. During this time, they will transform into pupae and eventually emerge as adult flies.

These insects are usually more of a nuisance than a real threat to a garden since they prefer to lay their eggs in overripe or rotting fruits. They can also pierce the skin of unripe fruits with their sharp mouthparts and lay their eggs inside.

Mongoose flies are most active in the early morning and late afternoon. They are weak fliers and do not tend to stray too far from areas where there is an abundance of food.

Organic fruit growers in tropical regions often use small quantities of pyrethrum when they pick their fruit, as a preventative measure against mongoose flies.

Sources & references used in this article:

Mango growing in Kenya by J Griesbach – 2003 –

Sustainable Mango Production Technology for Climatic Aberration in Coastal Agroclimate of Maharashtra by PM Haldankar, MM Burondkar, AK Singh, YS Saitwal – World, 2020 –

Low-dose irradiation with modified atmosphere packaging for mango against the oriental fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) by M Srimartpirom, I Burikam… – Journal of Economic …, 2018 –