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Worm-free Apples

How to trap apple maggot flies

Apple maggot
Apple maggots create tunnels in fruits. Traps may be used to monitor for the presence of the egg-laying flies.
 
Nobody likes wormy apples … but nobody enjoys spraying pesticides. What’s the solution?

Spray only when needed.

The apple maggot is the #1 pest of apples in North Dakota. The egg-laying flies begin attacking our fruits in early July. Now is the time to set up traps to monitor for the flies.

Apple maggot traps are available at major garden centers and online. These plastic spheres are coated with the sticky substance Tanglefoot and hung in trees. The flies are attracted to the red spheres and will get stuck when they land on them.

You can make your own 3-inch-diameter spheres out of wood and hang them using an eye screw and wire hook. Another option is to use bright red apples, skewer them with a thick wire (or coat hanger) and hang them up. Coat them with Tanglefoot.

Small trees need a couple traps and full-sized trees can use five traps. Hang them on outer branches, placing at least one on the south side and on branches facing brushy areas.

Check every week. If you don’t see any flies, you don’t need to spray.

If you do see flies, you have a choice to make: Spray to protect your fruits or get ready to make a lot of maggot-rich applesauce this fall.

Written by , Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University.

Source: University of Minnesota. Apple maggot. www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/fruit/ apple-pest-management/maggot/. Photos were made available under Creative Commons licenses specified by the photographers: E.H. Glass, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Bugwood.org; Cornell University, blogs.cornell.edu/ jentsch/scouting-reports/.

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