Pear Midge

Contarinia pyrivora

Pear Midge

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Pear Midges are tiny flies that can cause a bit of a nuisance in gardens, allotments and orchards. It's the larvae that cause most problems. Early spring, a female will lay eggs on the developing flowers of pear trees. Larvae hatch and burrow within the flower buds and begin feeding. The crop appears to be fine until May, when fruitlets begin to brown, eventually falling from the tree and rotting. Larvae then enter the soil, pupate, laying dormant until next spring.
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Traits

Midge larvae can ruin pears.
Infestations can be light, but some years are particularly bad when midges are in high abundance.

Appearance

Adults are tiny, brown-black flies. The larvae are white-orange maggots. They may be seen if the affected fruit is opened.

Symptoms

Some pears may become ruined from larval activity in the fruits. You may notice pears becoming ripe when they should still be developing.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Diptera

Family

Cecidomyiidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Europe.

Biological treatment

Unfortunately, it's extremely difficult to prevent an attack from these midges. Some years infestations tend to be manageable and light, whereas others are heavier. Hoeing the soil beneath plants may eradicate some of the overwintering pupae. Removal of fruits that have been infested can minimise the damage in the following year.

Chemical treatment

It can be both impractical and ineffective to treat large plants. But if the tree is small enough, there are some chemical alternatives on the market. Please consider if chemical control is really necessary. If a chemical option is sought, check with your local garden centre and please take care to follow the manufacturers' instructions. Check with your local regulating body for guidance on active ingredients and their authorisation for use. Plants that are in flower should never be sprayed due to the danger they pose to pollinators.

Attracts

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