Many of the species of fruit flies are of considerable economic significance, their larvae attacking various cultivated fruits.
The Mediterranean fruit fly lays its eggs in citrus and other fruits, the larvae tunnelling into the flesh of the fruit, making it unfit for human consumption. The apple maggot, the larva of Rhagoletis promonella, burrows in apples causing the fruit to become spongy and discoloured. This species and the closely related cherry fruit fly (R cingulata) cause extensive losses in the northeastern USA. Other widespread pests include the Mexican fruit fly (Anastrepha ludens), which attacks citrus crops; the Oriental fruit fly (Dacus dorsalis), which infests many kinds of subtropical fruit; and the olive fruit fly, which destroys olives in the Mediterranean region.