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Pests on Fruits

Pests on FruitDiseasesCultural Disorders




Insect Pests on Fruit

Select the pest from the images below for more information:

Apple MaggotCherry Fruit FlyGooseberry SawflySaskatoon Sawfly






Apple Maggot

Apple MaggotApple MaggotPlants affected - Apple, Evans Cherry, Hawthorn. Worse on early ripening apples.

Life Cycle:
• Adults lay eggs in fruit early to mid July. Maggots make trails rendering fruit inedible (outside pockmarked)
• Larvae drop to ground and pupate until the next June - July

Cultural Control:
• Lay a barrier (landscape fabric, remay cloth) on top of soil under the tree—this prevents pupae from emerging from soil, as well as larvae entering soil in fall
• Apple Maggot Traps - hang in trees in mid-late May. Traps contain a pheromone to lure adults. Average emergence date in Alberta is July to August
• DO NOT allow fruit to lay on ground (use tarp or pick daily)

Chemical Control: None

Cherry Fruit Fly

Cherry Fruit FlyCherry Fruit FlyPlants affected: Cherry

Symptoms: Larvae (maggots) feed in the flesh near the pit of cherries rendering them inedible

Life Cycle:
• Overwinter as pupae in soil under trees. Five to 9 days after emerging, adult female flies lay eggs singly in cherries
• Larvae feed for 1-2 weeks then cut exit hole and drop to ground to pupate
• Adults are present from June through August, generally peaking close to harvest. Flies are weak and will usually not travel farther than the first cherry tree they find.

Cultural Control: Hang yellow sticky traps in late May in trees to monitor fly emergence (for spraying date) and to trap adults.

Chemical Control: Ambush

Gooseberry Sawfly

Gooseberry SawflyGooseberry SawflyGooseberry SawflyPlants affected: Red and White Currants (not black), Gooseberry

Symptoms: Leaves stripped from branches; fruit is not affected

Life Cycle:
• Female lays eggs on underside of leaf close to ground; young larvae make holes in leaves, as they mature damage becomes more severe; leaves are entirely stripped from shrub
• Overwinter in soil as a cocoon.

Cultural Control:
• Examine leaves in May; look for white eggs low down in center of the bush, remove leaves
• Clear away debris and mulch in the fall, and disturb the soil in spring so birds will find them

Chemical Control: Not recommended once larvae seen; try to destroy eggs early on

Saskatoon Sawfly

Saskatoon SawflyPlants affected: Saskatoon

• Small scars on upper part of green berries. Larger fruit may have holes
• Later in season fruit may appear as empty black shells

Life Cycle:
• Adults emerge in May, lay eggs on flowers. Eggs hatch, larvae emerge and feed on fruit
• In late June, larvae drop to ground and overwinter in soil

Cultural Control: Look for adult sawflies when blooms emerge; hand-pick

Chemical Control:  Cover shrubs with a fine mesh netting (bug netting) before blooming in spring