Look out for fruit tree pests in early summer

Last Updated: 
August 4, 2008

CORVALLIS - If you have any fruit trees, you should be on the lookout for the cherry fruit fly, apple maggot and the codling moth in early summer.

Many local county horticulture agents with the Oregon State University Extension Service monitor the arrival of these two pests in many regions of the state and can provide pest information.

The apple maggot appears when apple fruits are developing throughout the summer. The cherry fruit fly adults lay eggs on young cherry fruit. The egg hatches into a small white maggot, which feeds on the pulp of the cherry.

The codling moth lays eggs on young fruit of apple, pear and quince. The eggs hatch and the larvae tunnel into the fruit. They often leave brown "frass" or excrement on the outside of the fruit. The hungry larvae also tunnel into the fruit and leave their frass inside the tunnels as well. Infested fruit can still be used by cutting out the affected parts but the infected fruit will not store well.

Several Oregon counties have ordinances dealing with backyard fruit production that require minimum spray programs to prevent disease and insect spread to commercial orchards. For example, the codling moth must be controlled in Wasco, Jackson, Umatilla and Hood River counties. In Josephine County, apple maggot must be controlled. In Lane, Linn, Marion, Polk, Union and Yamhill Counties, cherry fruit fly must be controlled. Other counties have other requirements. Check with your local county agent of the OSU Extension Service if you are not sure.

Not all of these pests are in all areas in Oregon.

To learn more about control methods for these and other orchard pests and diseases, the OSU Extension Service offers an informational circular written with home gardeners in mind - Controlling Diseases and Insects in Home Orchards, EC 631.

Included is detailed information on materials and practices for controlling diseases and insects on cherries, plums, apricots, hazelnuts, walnuts, apples, pears, peaches and nectarines. Methods for controlling diseases and insects without pesticides are also included.

To get a copy of EC 631, visit our on-line catalog. Our publications and video catalog at: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog shows which publications are available on the Web and which can be ordered as printed publications.

Author: Carol Savonen
Source: Jack DeAngelis