Compost Rotten and/or Homegrown Apples
trying hard to stop the spread of the apple maggot, but we
need your help. Natural spread of the maggot is quite slowóbut
people moving fruit spread the pests faster. The problem
is usually homegrown, backyard fruit and not commercial
fruit. Commercial fruit already has many restrictions on
and movement to make sure it is pest-free.
we can do to help is to NOT compost infected fruit. This
way, we can ensure that the bugs do not live. You can tell
if your fruit has maggots, if it turns brown and mushy. Fruit
damaged by the apple maggot will show feeding and bacterial
damage throughout the fruit. This is differed than from a
more common apple pest, the codling moth, which burrows straight
to the core, feeds, then exits the fruit. The codling moth
leaves most of the fruit undamaged.
flies of the apple maggot are ¼ inch long, with a
very distinctive wing pattern and three to four white stripes
on their lower body. The flies first come out of their resting
stage in the ground early in July, most are out by early
August, but then continue emerging into September.
are usually found near their host plants (apple, crabapple
and hawthorn,) feeding on honeydew or searching for mates
and for egg-laying sites on the fruit.
female lays the eggs just under the skin of the fruit, leaving
a small dimpled mark. Eggs are laid one at a time in smaller
fruit such as hawthorn berries, but several eggs can be laid
in something as large as an apple. The eggs hatch in two
to ten days, depending on temperature.
hatch from the eggs, the small white, legless maggots begin
burrowing throughout the fruit in a random pattern. Depending
on temperature, a maggot spends from 20 to 30 days inside
the fruit, feeding and growing. The nearly mature maggot,
which is about ¼ inch long, leaves the fruit, drops
to the ground, burrows into the soil and inch or two, and
develops into the resting or pupae stage.
find fruit that appears to have damage from the apple maggot,
bag it securely in plastic bags and send to a landfill. DO