Cherry fruit fly, Eastern cherry fruit fly

(Rhagoletis cerasi, Rhagoletis cingulata)

Food plant:

These species are the main pests of cherry and sour cherry


The larvae hatching in the fruit contaminate the crop and make it mushy with their chewing and feces. The grown larva leaves the fruit by leaving a particular hole behind.


The cherry fruit fly is widespread in the whole of Europe, it is the permanent and enduring pest of the cherry and sour cherry. It has one generation every year, its swarming is the most intense in May, and can last until the beginning of July. The eastern cherry fruit fly has American origin, since 2006 it has become more common in our country, too. It has also one generation every year, however its swarming takes longer, it can last until August. The pupae winter in the soil, around the trees. Grown fruit flies are black, only the end of the thorax may be yellowish. Their wing pattern is distinctive, the two species can be distinguished according to this. Within 5-10 days of hatching the flies lay their eggs in to the pulp. During their 10-15 days long development the hatched larvae chew the inner parts of the fruit and make it mushy. The grown larvae chew themselves out of the crop and cocoon for wintering by falling on to the ground.

Recommended protection:

Hatching of the first larvae is expected usually after 1-2 weeks from the start of swarming, whereas their mass hatching takes place usually 5-10 days of peak swarming. Knowing the swarming is very important because chemical protection is the most effective at the time of peak swarming. Digging up and sterilising the soil below the fruit trees can help the protection. Since cherry fruit flies usually fly short distances, regular REAGRON trap protection in smaller gardens can significantly decimate the population and the damage.

Pheromone trap placement:

Trap placement is recommended at the end of April. Replace the bait, the yellow boards in the adhesive, in every 8 weeks.

Check the traps twice a week. Count the number of flies captured in the particular period and note the number. The swarming dynamics are visible from the data and the time of intervention is definable. Should the trap capture too few cherry fruit flies, even at peak swarming time, it refers to low infection. Cherry fruit flies can be captured by placing some further traps in smaller gardens and the damage can be confined. So that we can preserve our health and environment.

Empirical swarming curve of the cherry fruit fly and the eastern cherry fruit fly in Central-Europe:

The introduced empirical swarming curve was prepared by using data of many years, however the swarming may be different depending on the weather and the microclimate of the arable land.

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