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I am wondering if the worms in cherries are safe to eat? They are so small it doesn't really bother me to eat them but I don't want to if they could make me sick or continue to live and grow inside me.

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The worms are actually maggots of the Western Cherry Fruit Fly.  I couldn’t find references on whether or not it is safe to eat, but I would caution you because of the nature of the maggot is to eat the fruit, and possibly damage it.  The damage caused by the worm could possibly allow other pathogens like bacteria enter the fruit that may make you sick, so I would stay away from blemished fruit.  As for living in your stomach, the gastric environment is pretty acidic and the maggots would probably not survive in that environment.  

One consideration about controlling the western cherry fruit fly is possible infestation to neighboring trees.  Your infested tree could be a source for neighboring cherry trees, so a good idea is to use mulch or barrier around the base of the tree to reduce pupation (adult fly emergence).

There is more information that can be found on the following link to a USU fact sheet on Western Cherry Fruit Fly.

http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/ENT-102-06.pdf

 

 

Posted on 5 Sep 2007

Maggie Shao
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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