Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
How do I keep the little white worms out of my cherries?
Rate This FAQ
The western cherry fruit fly adult is a small true fly with dark bands on its wings. It over winters in soil under cherry trees and adults emerge the following spring from late May to early June in northern Utah. Once the fruits take on a salmon to rosy blush in color they become soft enough for female fruit flies to penetrate the skin to lay eggs. After the eggs develop under the skin, they hatch into white worms that feed on the flesh of fruits. You find these small, white worms when you take a bite or remove the cherry pit. Consuming fruit fly larvae is not harmful, but most Americans don’t prefer to have a little extra protein with their fruit. Here are some tips on how to keep the worms out of your cherries:
- Insecticides are the primary control for cherry fruit fly. Begin protecting fruit when it turns salmon to rose in color. It is most effective if all cherry trees in an area are treated to prevent flies from emigrating from infested sites. Let your neighbors know and encourage them to spray to help keep the fruit fly populations down. Effective insecticides for the homeowner include spinosad (Success or Entrust), permethrin, carbaryl (Sevin), methoxychlor, malathion, pyrethrum (Pyganic), endosulfan (Thiodan), and azadirachtin (Neem, Azatin).
- For helpful cultural control, place plastic landscape fabric or another barrier on the ground under the canopy of cherry trees to prevent larvae in dropped fruit from burrowing into the soil where they will pupate for the winter. Landscape fabric placed in the spring will also prevent adults from emerging from the soil. Keep the fabric in place year-round and prevent a buildup of soil and debris on top that would provide pupation sites for the fruit fly.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- How do I know when it is time to pick my pear tree?
- Two Questions, is Malathion the best spray to use on apple and pear trees and is there a way I could get a list of professionals who spray fruit trees?
- What dwarf nectarine (or semi-dwarf) will grow well in SL County (on the East Bench)? Also, how much space will it need when fully mature?
- I have a 6year old dwarf braeburn apple tree. It has gotten very tall and a large part of the tree split off in a windstorm. I need to prune it back and am wondering when I can safely do so.
- Can we grow the new Honey Crisp apple here?
- What is the best way to tell when a d'Anjou pear is ready to harvest?
- Can you please give me an idea of when I need to spray my fruit trees (I have one each of nectarine, peach, apricot, apple and cherry).Can you let me know when, based on the weather in Cache county? What is the name of the best spray to use?
- Our family has a huge peach orchard and this year we have been having the pit of the peach split in half when you open it and it looks like another "seed" is trying to grow in the middle of it. What is causing this and how do you fix it?