Infested cherry trees

Asked June 26, 2014, 1:40 PM EDT

This is our first season at our new home and we were delighted to see an abundant crop of cherries on the three trees in our yard. After a mention from a neighbor about the probability of maggots, I sampled the fruit from all of the trees and found 100% were infested. I'm not interested in consuming the wormy fruit, so what should I do with this summer's crop? What is your advice to avoid the nasty things in the future. An online search leads me to believe this is some sort of fly larvae ...

Wisconsin horticulture

1 Response

It's probably cherry fruit fly. Destroying the fruit will prevent the flies from completing their life cycle. Collect all the fruit and "steam" in closed plastic bags or other container set in the sun for a few weeks to kill the larvae. Or boil the fruit or dispose of in the trash. Composting the fruit may not kill the larvae. This should be done soon before the larvae leave the fruit to pupate in the soil.Spraying with insecticides will likely be necessary to prevent infestation in subsequent years. See http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/fruit/integrated-pest-management-for-home-stone-frui... and http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/cherry_fruit_fly_management_strategies for more info.