How To Get Rid Of Cherry Maggots – Tips & Tricks in The Orchard

When and how are the ripening fruits affected by the cherry fruit fly?

The period from the end of May to the beginning of July is the flight time of the cherry fruit fly, regardless of the weather conditions. During this period, the female lays between 50 and 200 eggs in the yellowish fruits. About a week later, white maggots hatch and eat through the pulp of the cherries. The eaten fruits hardly develop any further and often fall from the tree dull and stunted. What helps against cherry maggots This can significantly reduce the usable cherry harvest. The maggots develop in this damaging manner for about three weeks. After that, they migrate into the soil to overwinter. What to do about cherry maggots?

How does a cherry maggot trap work?

A cherry maggot trap provides an effective, environmentally safe method of protecting cherries. Glue-coated panels in bright gold simulate tempting fruit for the cherry fruit flies, which are about five millimeters in size. The panels are also coated with an attractive substance. When they approach them, they come into contact with the sticky surface and adhere to it. Since they are intercepted before laying their eggs, the cherries remain intact. If you want to destroy and get rid of as many cherry fruit flies as possible, you should hang an appropriate number of cherry maggot traps in time, depending on the tree size and pest occurrence.

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Are there alternative methods to prevent the pests?

The application of a cherry maggot trap provides a simple and effective biotechnical method to prevent most cherry fruit flies from laying eggs. With a little bit of craftsmanship, any garden owner can make their own cherry maggot trap to protect against cherry maggots. Spraying cherries with a chemical spray against cherry maggots has long been banned in allotments.

However, there are also permissible cherry maggot organic sprays available on the market. A less practicable, but theoretically possible means against cherry maggots is a very close-meshed net, which would have to be stretched over the entire tree without any loopholes. Nematodes against cherry maggots serve as a supporting indirect method to control cherry maggots in the soil.

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Nematodes are placed in the soil in early summer. There they decompose about 50 percent of the maggots. In order to control cherry maggots in the longer term, it is also appropriate to pick up and remove all cherries that have fallen to the ground. This is intended to reduce maggot infestation in subsequent years as a further supplement to the maggot trap.

Child ate cherries with maggots, are they poisonous or harmful?

Cherry maggots are edible. Maggots eaten by a child or adult are harmless to health in all respects. However, this is provided that no chemical pesticides have been sprayed on the fruit. At most, the quantity consumed could be problematic. Regardless of cherry maggot infestation, excessive amounts can cause digestive problems. The main reason for not eating the affected cherries is aesthetic. Those who wish to remove cherry maggots should leave the cherries under water for a few minutes.


Every spring, numerous amateur gardeners ask themselves the question of suitable and permissible protection against cherry fruit flies. In order to prevent the laying of eggs by cherry fruit flies, the use of cherry maggot traps is recommended from the end of May at the latest, in order to eliminate as many cherry fruit flies as possible. The consumption of cherries in which maggots are present is not dangerous.

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