Western Cherry Fruit Fly

    Western Cherry Fruit Fly

    Western cherry fruit fly adult. Western cherry fruit fly adult.
    Western cherry fruit fly larva and exit hole.
    Western cherry fruit fly larva and exit hole.


    • Sweet cherry
    • Tart cherry
    • Wild species of cherries


    Adult western cherry fruit flies (Rhagoletis indifferens) will migrate only short distances (< 40 m) if host fruit is available.  This causes infestations to be spotty in a region; however, once established in an orchard, the western cherry fruit fly can spread rapidly and require annual control.  Protective insecticide sprays are currently the major tactic for preventing infestation.  An “attract-and-kill” technology where adult flies are enticed to feed on a sticky bait droplet containing an ultra low concentration of insecticide, has proven effective in Utah orchards.


    Western cherry fruit fly overwinters as larvae inside the soil, and emerge as adult flies in May to early June, depending on soil temperature. Adults lay eggs beneath the skin of fruit without leaving visible marks, and the newly hatched larvae feed in the fruit.


    • Exit holes in the fruit



    Watch for adults May to mid-July


    • Residential: Spinosad, Carbaryl, Malathion, Esfenvalerate, Permethrin
    • Commercial: click here

    Precautionary Statement: Utah State University and its employees are not responsible for the use, misuse, or damage caused by application or misapplication of products or information mentioned in this document. All pesticides are labeled with ingredients, instructions, and risks, and not all are registered for edible crops. “Restricted use” pesticides may only be applied by a licensed applicator. The pesticide applicator is legally responsible for proper use. USU makes no endorsement of the products listed in this publication.