Fruit Fly Maggot

Asked August 7, 2017, 12:18 PM EDT

We have over 50 cherry trees growing on our 11 acres. We pick as much as we can most years and freeze. This year halfway through the harvest we found large amounts of fruit fly maggots. Normally we find some and ignore but this was too much. We stopped picking and are wondering what to do for this so next year is a better year. This is purely for our own consumption. at least 30% of the trees and very old and tall so spraying the foliage is pretty difficult. A few are over 40 feet and a diameter of at least 3 feet. Compounding this is the fact that we are bordered on 2 sides with commercial blueberry fields, 1 side timber and behind us is wheat but probably changing to blueberries. I know the nieghbors spray for this and have cut down multiple cherry trees growing on our property line. I want to be a good neighbor but also cant hire a helicopter like they do. Is their something I can spray on the ground? Thank you

Marion County Oregon

1 Response

Hello:

The larvae in the fruit could conceivably be Western Cherry Fruit Fly or Spotted Wing Drosophila, or both. I included the web addresses to the discussion of both these insect pests from the PNW Insect Management Handbook. Given the size of the trees and their distribution over a considerable distance, managing these pests on your fruit will obviously be problematic. There are no products which can be applied to the ground and which are absorbed by the tree to repel these insects. All the products listed in the Handbook are applied as foliar/fruit protectant sprays following bloom. Please feel free to write with additional questions.

SWD: https://pnwhandbooks.org/insect/tree-fruit/cherry/cherry-spotted-wing-drosophila

Cherry Fruit Fly: https://pnwhandbooks.org/insect/tree-fruit/cherry/cherry-western-cherry-fruit-fly