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Western Cherry Fruit Fly (Rhagoletis indifferens)

Monday Jun 05, 2023

Cherry Fruit Fly adult on cherry (Photo Credit: E. Beers, 2007)
Western cherry fruit fly trap in orchard with lure

Western Cherry Fruit Fly (Rhagoletis indifferens)

Why is it a problem?
Western cherry fruit fly (Rhagoletis indifferens) is a native pest to North America which can cause significant damage to soft fruit crops including cherries. Western cherry fruit fly adults attack ripening fruit and deposit larvae into the fruit flesh. Presence of any larvae found inside the fruit can compromise a Growers' ability to pack their fruit for export, and with it significant financial consequences. Populations of Western cherry fruit fly in your or surrounding area's orchards can potentially compromise the quality of your crop, as domestic markets typically return much less to the grower. 
Where do Western cherry fruit flies come from?
Western cherry fruit flies overwinter in the orchard soil, and have one generation per year. Adults emerge prior to harvest as the fruit are ripening, and can potentially cause damage throughout their lipespan of around 15-30 days. Harvest time is usually when peak populations are found, and growers should continually monitor for Western cherry fruit fly populations to appropriately protect their crop.  
How the BC DAS system can help: Keeping you Informed + Equipped
The BC Das system allows growers to be informed about the current risk of Western cherry fruit fly populations in the growers' specific geographic location. Using information on temperature and degree days, as well as regional trap catches, the BC DAS system provides the grower with up to date information regarding potential risks for cherry fruit fly populations. In order for the BC DAS system to be most accurate, the grower must follow along with the model in conjuction with trap catches in their own orchard in order to be fully informed throughout the growing season and avoid loss.
The DAS Spray Guide offers different spray options, rates and timings, allowing growers to plan their sprays for coverage, as well as allowing the grower to select for product options currently registered for either conventional or organic use. By following along on the BC DAS model, the grower will have timely information and knowledge of the tools currently available to protect against Western cherry fruit fly populations in their orchard.  
Still interested in finding out more? Check out our BC DAS Western cherry fruit fly model video on YouTube to connect horticultural knowledge from the field with the online DAS program: