Tired of Apple Maggots Eating Your Apples?

Apple maggots emerge depending upon the number of days with a temperature above 10°C, in June to July and lay their eggs in the apples. The eggs then produce white to cream maggots which cause brown tunnels in the flesh of the apple. The adults are black flies, 6 mm long with yellow legs and a zigzag band across their wings. They over winter in the soil as pupae, approximately 1 to 6 inches below the surface, and emerge the next spring to contine the cycle.

To control the apple maggot one should clean fallen apples from beneath the tree at least once a week, which will decrease the population, and thesource of nutrients. One can but apply maggot traps, or make them yourself. To do so, paint a Styrofoam ball red and apply Tanglefoot to it once a week, removing the old Tangle foot. For a dwarf tree one needs 1 trap, and for large trees 4 to 8 traps are required. One can also root drench with diazinon early in the spring to eliminate the pupae in the soil. You could also spray the fruit as they are set, using carbaryl (Sevin). Do not spray with carbaryl within seven days of harvest of the fruit. In our experience, the flies emerge throughout the summer. The apple decoys can also be used to indicate fly activity. Start treatment when flies are found in excess of two per red sticky ball trap per week. Continue as long as flies are found.

By Dr. Paton and Vicki East