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Unidentified cherry pest



  • The inspector is unable to return until Wednesday to collect the live specimens so she has asked if I can try to find any more on Tuesday.  I told her I thought it unlikely as the fruit is very over-ripe now and starting to rot, the infection rate must be at least 80% and rising as more maggots seem to be maturing and emerging from what looked like intact fruit.  Being a vegetarian I am rather horrified at what I must have been unwittingly eating.  I am keeping the specimens I have in the fridge in case I can't find anymore before she returns.  I am guessing it will be a couple of weeks before I have any further information after the lab analysis is done.

  • hi had trouble with reply now working clicked basic editor so now able to type. Anyway my location is lowestoft the most easterly point of Britain maggot came out when put in syrup so may also work with just water or maybe a light brine.

    sorry for the delay in reply.

  • JungleJungle Posts: 1

    Same issue, if you drop the fruit in water the tiny maggots try and get out through the holes, in some cases I had more that one maggot per fruit.  I'm on Wilts Dorset boarder.

  • I have had this reply this morning, not good news.

    I have had a diagnosis from the lab, as follows:

    ‘The larvae are morphologically consistent with Drosophila sp. There is only one species in the UK that attacks healthy soft fruit: D. suzukii, commonly known as the spotted-wing drosophila. This is an Asian species that has recently been introduced to the UK. Drosophila suzukii is a fruit crop pest and is a serious economic threat to soft summer fruit, i.e., cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, grapes, and other.’


    The lab will try and rear the larvae to adulthood so that they can try and identify it to species.

    Further information on this pest can be found at – as you will seeit is widespread across the EU. and the factsheet at

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,270

    Oh 'eck!  image

    Let us know if they send you more info

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • AngelAngel Posts: 57

    Having bought a patio cherry tree earlier this year I must say this is very worrying. 

  • hi again,

    has a spray or prevention method been recommended for next year or is this now bush tucker only.?
  • Rinus KRinus K Posts: 67

    Last year my cherry tree produced very nice cherries but this year it's a disaster.

    Although the tree blossomed well and the bees did their job the fruit didn't ripen. The cherries stayed small and tastes dirty. The leaves curls on the end of the branches and become brown. Now all leaves are yellow. Last year I had the same problem with my plumtree. This year the plumtree has healthy leaves but not a single prum.

    What is the best way to prevent this happens again next year.  Spray the trees with soapy water and spirit or is this just a fairytale?

  • In reply to Kev, I think APHA may advise me more when they have confirmed their identification of the species. Looking at the factsheets on the links they gave me it seems there are some chemical solutions. I think me own approach will be to significantly reduce the size of the tree and cover it with fine mesh before the fruit develops too much, also to cover the surrounding ground with fine mesh as many of the maggots will have pupated in the soil around the tree.

    I think this could become a big issue as it seems the flies are very mobile and they target many other fruit. I don't see how they can be controlled particularly as blackberries are a host and wild ones are everywhere. Even if every farmer and gardener controlled their own patch the flies can easily survive using wild hosts and return to plague us.  Paul

  •  Further bad news.  I harvested about 1lb of blackberries today and let them soak for a while which is what I normally do to flush out the raspberry beetle larvae.  As well as a few larger beetle larvae there were dozens of the same tiny maggots as those from the cherries.  There was no visible evidence of the infestation when picking them, the berries looked perfectly normal.  I remember noting last year that there appeared to be far more maggots in the blackberries than normal so I am thinking that this pest was also present then.  Paul
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