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
- I have purchased a few acres in summit county at about 9500 feet elevation. The property is in the middle of a meadow, with no natural trees. I would like to plant some evergreen seedlings. Will they grow? I am wondering why the meadow would not already have these types of trees, if they would in fact grow there. Can you recommend the best type of tree for success, or am I better off saving my money? There are evergreens growing all around the meadow a few hundred yards away. Thanks.
- We have five acreas in Cedar City and would like to plant some nut trees. Can you suggest some types/varieties that would do well here? Would any work or only some?
- We recently replaced our driveway and it now within a foot of two 10 year old Linden trees. Are the trees too close to the driveway? Will the root system eventually break up the concrete?
- I have a peach tree that I want to save - it's almost completely dead because of borers. There are some healthy branches on it still, and I'm wondering about the possibility of grafting some of this stock onto another peach tree I have. Where can I find out how to do this?
- Do I have borers in my peach trees?
- We live in Herriman and have a 25 x 30 foot plot of land that we would like to turn into an orchard. We would like to plant a variety of apples, pears, plums, and peaches. When should we plant? What kinds should we plant? How many of each should we plant? We are total beginners! Are there books or other resources you would recommend to help us that give answers for our specific area?
- I had my apple tree pruned this spring and ever since then apple suckers have been coming up all over my yard; especially in my grass. Nothing I've sprayed seems to kill off the suckers, including round-up and sucker stopper. What do you recommend to erradicate apple suckers?
- Can you plant ONE apple tree and get fruit? Everyone says you have to plant two different varieties, but I only have room for one tree.