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NMSU Valencia County Extension to host apple maggot seminar

LOS LUNAS, N.M. - Apple growers in the Middle Rio Grande Valley have a new pest to deal with in their orchards. In addition to their old enemy, the codling moth, a fruit fly called the apple maggot moved into the area for the first time last summer.



Apple maggots are a new pest for Middle Rio Grande Valley apple growers to deal with in their orchards. This pictured female fly lays eggs under the skin of developing fruit and growers may not be aware that their apples are infested until the fruit is cut open. (NMSU photo by Tess Grasswitz)

"In many ways, apple maggot is even more of a challenge to control than codling moth," said Tess Grasswitz, an integrated pest management specialist with New Mexico State University. "The adult fly lays her eggs under the skin of the developing fruit and growers may not even be aware that their apples are infested until the fruit is cut open.

"There is a very brief window of opportunity between the adult flies emerging from their pupal stage in the soil and the females starting to lay eggs, so correct timing of control measures is critical."

To help growers deal with the new pest, New Mexico State University's Valencia County Cooperative Extension Service will host a seminar about monitoring and controlling the maggots at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, at the Extension office, 404 Courthouse Road, Los Lunas.

"This workshop is mainly for commercial growers in the Valencia County area, who want to know what options are available to control apple maggots," said Grasswitz, who will be conducting the seminar.

There is limited space available for the free seminar. Interested growers need to contact the Extension office at 505-565-3002 to reserve their place.