Community engagement is an important function in managing fruit flies in agricultural areas. It seeks and facilitates the involvement of all people potentially affected by, or interested in, the outcome. The propensity of government, industry and community to engage ensures that there is shared responsibility in attempted approaches to reduce the incidence and spread of fruit flies. A system that allows shared responsibility eases the constraints on resources. It also allows dissemination of information about the pest to a wider audience, and reduces misconceptions about the use of products for fruit fly management. Community engagement requires knowledge of the cultural background of all people involved to ensure optimal outcomes. In the campaign following the introduction of Bactrocera dorsalis into South Africa in 2010, a wide-scale media approach was used by government to disseminate information and engage communities on key aspects of its control, which included radio adverts and interviews, WhatsApp mobile messages, information brochures, education of school children from affected areas on the threat of B. dorsalis, and organization of workshops. Some communities appeared to be ignorant of the problem, as they discarded information pamphlets without reading them, but other reasons could have played a role. Challenges were also encountered in getting farmers and communities to apply proper orchard and vineyard sanitation measures, and to make use of the fruit fly control products provided for fruit fly management.