Western Cherry Fruit Flies

As their name suggests, western cherry fruit flies are most often found in tart or sweet cherry trees. It is uncommon to find western cherry fruit flies inhabiting any other type of tree. Cherry fruit flies are native to North America and have been observed in some areas of the Pacific Northwest.

These fruit flies are considered chief cherry pests. During harvest season, inspectors are present at cherry-packing facilities to examine fruit for any indication of cherry fruit flies. When traces of larvae are detected, the entire batch of infested cherries is discarded. All other fruit from the grower in question is also inspected thoroughly.

Cherry fruit fly maggots feed on the fruit of sweet and sour cherries, and wild cherries. Contaminated fruits often appear normal until maggots mature. At this point, damage and pockmarks appear on the hollow, withered areas of overripe fruits. Fruits may also be marked near the bottom, at egg-insertion sites. This type of fruit fly should not be mistaken for the small flies sometimes found indoors. The western cherry fruit fly is an agricultural pest and very different from the indoor type of fruit flies that attack overripe or fermenting fruit.