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Cherry fruit fly management: Promising alternatives reviewed

Infested cherry

Infested cherry

Female infested with entomopathogenic fungus

Female infested with entomopathogenic fungus

Researchers from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and the Swiss University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) recently published a review of integrated management of the cherry fruit fly in the open-access on-line journal "Insects". The cherry fruit fly is the most important pest of sweet cherries in Europe. Fruit damaged by this insect is not marketable, and farmers must apply preventive treatments to grow a crop they can sell. Because old insecticides are being phased out in the entire EU, new management techniques and tools are needed.

Claudia Daniel of FiBL and Jürg Grunder of ZHAW reviewed the scientific literature over the past hundred years to provide a comprehensive account of the life cycle of the pest, and effective strategies and tools for its control. Organic and integrated techniques received special attention. Crop netting is one viable cost-effective alternative for the increasing number of dwarf cherries. The beneficial fungus Beauveria bassiana that was developed for organic agriculture also shows promise. However, for most situations there is still a lack of efficient and environmentally sound insecticides to control this pest.

The review summarises the literature from over one hundred years of research on R. cerasi with focus on biology, history of cherry fruit fly control as well as on antagonists and potential biocontrol organisms. The authors present the situation of cherry fruit fly regulation in different European countries, give recommendations for cherry fruit fly control, show gaps in knowledge and identify future research opportunities. The article is of benefit to European cherry growers and the professionals who work with them.

More information


Daniel, C. and Grunder, J. 2012. Integrated management of cherry fruit fly Rhagoletis cerasi (L.): Situation in Switzerland and Europe. Insects 3: 956-988. doi:10.3390/insects3040956


Claudia Daniel, Plant Protection and Biodiversity, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Claudia.daniel(at)fibl.org, +41 (0)62 865-7291