How to Spray for Apple Maggots


Once apple maggots infest a tree, they can quickly ruin a crop. As their numbers grow, they can spread to nearby orchards and damage commercial crops. Apple maggots are such a serious pest in the Northwest that the Washington State University Extension discourages homeowners from planting apple trees in their backyards. If you suspect you may have an infestation, you must spray promptly. If apple maggots are a serious problem in your area, contact your local county extension office for advice on any further control methods.

Step 1

Hang four to five apple maggot traps in your apple trees branches beginning in late June. Hang the traps at eye level (for easy monitoring) and prune any foliage that comes within 12 inches of the traps.

Step 2

Monitor the apple maggot traps daily. Replace the traps every three to four weeks as the trap's adhesive wears away. As soon as the first apple maggot fly is captured, you must spray within seven days to achieve effective control.

Step 3

Remove the apple maggot traps to avoid spraying them. Spray your apple tree with an insecticide manufactured for the control of apple maggots. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application procedures and amounts. Most insecticides require you to coat the apple tree's foliage until just before or just after the point of run-off. Once you have finished spraying, replace the apple maggot traps.

Step 4

Respray the tree every seven to 14 days. Stop spraying when you see no more apple maggot flies caught in the traps. However, even if you continue to see apple maggot flies in the traps after repeated sprays, you must stop spraying to allow the manufacturer-dictated pre-harvest interval to elapse. Spraying after this date will render your apples inedible.

Things You'll Need

  • Apple maggot fly traps
  • Insecticide


  • Washington State University Extension: Apple Maggot Control in the Backyard Orchard
  • Washington State University Extension: Protecting Backyard Apple Trees from Apple Maggot

Who Can Help

  • Michigan State Pest Management Resources: Monitoring and Management Strategies for the Apple Maggot
Keywords: apple maggot flies, spray apple maggot, insecticide apple maggot

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.