Zero Tolerance for Maggots in Cherries Means Growers Must Spray

Cherry Maggot

Cherry Maggot

Pairs of cherry fruit flies have been observed copulating for 18 hours at a time. Each female may deposit 100 to 300 eggs under the fruit skin over a period of thirty days. Eggs hatch in 3-7 days and young maggots feed on cherry flesh, mainly around the pit. Maggots and their frass within the fruit render the product unsalable.

“Insecticides continue to be vital in efforts to control the western cherry fruit fly, the most serious insect pest of commercial sweet and sour cherries in the western United States. … The zero tolerance for fly larvae in cherries has necessitated the use of these highly toxic insecticides in commercial orchards. Isolated homeowner or abandoned trees can be heavily infested and also need to be treated with these insecticides to reduce chances of flies dispersing to commercial orchards.”

Authors: W.L. Yee1 and D.G. Alston2
Affiliation: 1USDA-ARS, Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, Wapato, WA; 2Department of Biology, Utah State University, Logan, UT
Title: Effects of spinosad, spinosad bait, and chloronicotiny insecticides on mortality and control of adult and larval western cherry fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae).
Publication: Journal of Economic Entomology. 2006. 99(5):1722-1732.

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