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Carrot Rust Fly

Carrot Rust Fly Control

Psila rosae

Carrot Rust Flies are a well-known pest of carrots, celeriac, celery, parsnips and other members of the Umbelliferae (Apicaceae) family. Adult females are attracted to the odor of the plant and lay their eggs on the crown of the plant. Once the eggs hatch, the damaging larval stage emerges and burrow into the soil. They damage the plants by feeding on the roots. Newly planted crops can be killed. Mature crops survive but take on damage that is unsightly. These carrots may be stunted, they frequently rot and acquire a bitter taste.

Control Options:

  • The best method for reducing their population is to monitor and trap using Yellow Sticky Traps. Place the traps on stakes above the planting area.
  • If you see the larvae, Spinosad or Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki can be sprayed on the plants to kill them.
  • When the adult flies are expected, you can exclude them by using floating row covers. Depending upon your location, the adults appear from the end of April/beginning of May until July.

Adult Carrot Flies are 4 to 5 mm, and have a black thorax and abdomen. Their legs are yellow except for the tarsi which are darker. Their abdomen is elongated and pointed in the female. Their eggs are very small, in fact they are barely visible and hidden in the soil, singly or in groups. Larva are elongated (6 to 7 mm), shiny and white-yellowish. Pupa are brownish, barrel-shaped. The Carrot Fly overwinters as a pupa.

Control products are listed below.

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