Last year, our cherry tree produced many cherries, but when we cut into them, they were full of little worms. What are they, and how can we prevent them from ruining our cherries this year?
The worms are cherry fruit fly maggots. The best way to get rid of them is to trap or spray the flies before they lay their eggs in the fruit. To trap them, use two or three bright yellow 10x10-inch boards about the same thickness as cardboard and covered with Tack Trap. (Many garden supply stores also sell ready-made fruit fly traps.) Hang the traps in the tree about three weeks after it blossoms and just after the flies first appear. The female flies also may be attracted to red, apple-size plastic or wooden balls coated with Tack Trap and hung on the tree. If you fail to catch any flies by trapping, you may want to consult a local organic nursery or your cooperative extension service (click here for your state: http://www.almanac.com/content/cooperative-extension-services) for an alternative.