Fruit Fly Threat to Cherries28th July 2016 • Stephanie's Blog • Stephanie Donaldson
On Friday I went to pick the crop from the cherry tree that we rent each year. Sadly, it was markedly down on what we usually gather due to the wrong weather at the wrong time. That’s the risk we take and most years we are amply repaid for our investment and it’s good to know that we are helping to keep cherry orchards viable. However there is a looming risk on the horizon, the spotted wing drosophila that threatens to ravage soft fruit crops and shows a marked partiality for cherries. The orchard owner has imposed strict control measures and so far has avoided infestations, but for anyone with a cherry tree in their own garden, one of the most important ways to avoid attracting the fly is to pick cherries as soon as they ripen, not to leave any on the tree and to scrupulously clean up any from the ground and dispose of them in your dustbin rather than on the compost heap where they may still attract the flies.