London (change)
Today 15°C / 13°C
Tomorrow 16°C / 8°C

Carrot fly

Symptoms

Tunnelling maggots feast on the carrot flesh, causing the outsides to be marked with brown rings. This is often followed by rotting.
Find it on: carrots, celery, parsley, parsnips
Time to act: spring

Overview

Creamy-yellow larvae hatch from the white eggs of the carrot fly, Psila rosae, and tunnel into the roots of carrots and other related plants, such as parsnips and celery. The damage creates brown scarring on the exterior of the taproots. Damaged roots are then susceptible to secondary rots. Sometimes the foliage turns yellow and plants might even die.
Solution
Tunnelling maggots feast on the carrot flesh, causing the outsides to be marked with brown rings. This is often followed by rotting.
Organic
Sow carrots after late-spring to avoid the first generation of carrot fly larvae. Harvest the roots by late-August, before the second generation of larvae emerges.

Carrot fly can detect the scent of carrots from a mile away; sow the seed thinly, as the process of thinning the seedlings releases the carrot's scent. Plant strong-smelling crops, such as garlic, onions, shallots and leeks adjacent to the carrots.

Follow a strict crop rotation plan, avoiding growing carrots on the same site in consecutive years, and place horticultural fleece over the seedlings, which will provide a physical barrier against the pest.

Some carrot varieties - 'Resistafly', 'Sytan' and 'Fly Away' - are less prone to attack.




Discuss this problem

Talkback: Carrot fly
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

josephkershaw 24/11/2011 at 15:27

Loggerd on to find about carrot fly. Found organic and crop rotation.
What about prevention and cure?

nulusaccmancieii 24/11/2011 at 15:27

As regards to crop rotation some people seem to grow some crops
on same plot year after year, how do they manage this? I would be very interested to hear comments. Many thanks

trevorhall23 24/11/2011 at 15:28

The best solution to prevent carrot fly, which i have found is by putting wind breakers (what you use for camping or the beach ) round your carrot plot , but make sure you hammer the poles right down so not to allow any gap between earth and breaker try this it's the best solution ever.. ( second hand or old wind breakers are perfect.) Make sure there is no gap between joining poles when putting wind breakers together..

trevor.hanna 24/11/2011 at 15:28

i will try this
thank you

Peat B 09/12/2011 at 15:55

I found that growing the purple variety of carrot seems resistant to carrot fly. I grew three patches of carrot this past year, and the ordinary common orange carrot was touched by the fly, but the purple type was virtually unscathed.
All this stuff about growing garlic or onions close by has not proved successful here in Northumberland. The best method is, for me, to lay fleece over the seeds and this is the necessary barrier to prevent the fly invading.

See more comments...