Apple maggot—Rhagoletis pomonella
Adult maggots have clear wings with black bands, a pronounced
white spot on the back of the thorax, and a black abdomen
with light crossbands. Females have four crossbands on the
abdomen; males have three. Apple maggot is currently established
only in northern California from Sonoma County north.
Identification of species | Life cycle
In soft-fleshed apple varieties a small, dark, decayed spot occurs at the oviposition site. In hard-fleshed
varieties, the oviposition site results in a dimple. Young larvae tunnel throughout the apple flesh, leaving
a small, brown, irregular, threadlike trail. The tunnels enlarge as the larvae grow; eventually decay
organisms enter the fruit and cause internal rotting and fruit drop.
Sanitation is very important in controlling apple maggot.
Clean up fallen fruit and discard. To detect presence of
adults, hang yellow sticky traps in trees; traps attract
flies in search of food. If you find apple maggot in counties
where it has not been reported, contact your local
Agricultural Commissioner's Office or Cooperative Extension
red sphere traps hung in trees can help control
maggots. Applications of spinosad made mid-July
and repeated every 7 to 10 days if necessary can also help
control this pest.
flies; male (left) and female (right)
areas indicate egg-laying sites