Cherry worms

Asked April 24, 2020, 12:55 PM EDT

Hello,

We live in Glenwood Springs, and for the last 5 years or so, we have seen small white worms in our bing and tart cherry fruit. We do not use any pesticides on our fruit trees, but would like to know how to rid our trees of the worms in an environmentally friendly way.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Garfield County Colorado

1 Response

Thank you for using the Ask an Expert service!

It sounds like you have fruit fly larvae in your fruit- which can be a fairly common issue in cherry trees that are not sprayed. The best way to address this problem is to use a pesticide application to target the adult flies:
This requires sprays on a 7-10 day schedule beginning when flies become active, usually as early maturing cherries begin to show color. Yellow sticky traps are often used to determine when adult fruit flies begin flying. The spray schedule should begin 7-10 days after the first flies are captured.

Pesticides are generally an environmentally friendly solution when used appropriately. You can also use an organic formulation (recommendations are in the linked fact sheets) if you do not want to use a synthetic pesticide.

Please refer to our guide on managing backyard stone fruit, in addition to the pesticide recommendations for management.
https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/backyard-orchard-stone-fruits-2-804/

Thanks,