Bactrocera invadens (Diptera: Tephritidae) has spread rapidly across Africa and currently poses a phytosanitary threat to the fruit industry of South Africa. In reaction a cold mitigating treatment to provide phytosanitary security to importing countries was developed in Nairobi, Kenya. Using laboratory reared fruit flies, the rate of development in 'Hass' avocado (Persea americana Miller) was determined at 28 degrees C. Fruit ripeness or softness was found to be a factor improving larval fruit fly survival. Using this information the egg and larval developmental stages were subjected to 2 degrees C cold treatment and it was found that the third instars were the most cold tolerant life stage and that it was expected that between 16 and 17 d treatment would provide phytosanitary security. There were no survivors in the treatment of an estimated 153,001 individuals in four replicates at an average fruit pulp temperature of 2 degrees C satisfying the Probit 9 level of efficiency at a confidence of >95%. These data provide evidence that a continuous cold treatment of 1.5 degrees C or lower for 18 d would provide phytosanitary security in that any consignment entering an importing country poses no risk of accidental importation of B. invadens.