Carrot and Celery Fly Control

Carrot and Celery Fly Control

That little pest that really annoys me is the Carrot fly: A creature that is a member of the Psilidae family, also called ” Rust Flies “. except eating carrots, they can also be found on: celery, parsnips and parsley. I seems me that they are out to get my crop, what ever I do.

To understand them, the place to start is to know what they do. The fly lays their eggs at the base of the plant, they hatch and start eating the nearest food, which is, your crop. The fly is attacked to the seedlings by the odour of them

There are two ways of preventing this, both of them, try to make the crop distasteful to the fly.

One way of doing this is to soak sawdust in paraffin and spread this down between the rows.

Another idea is to spread wood ash over the whole seed-bed.

However, the carrot fly has one major disadvantage and that is that it cannot go higher than three feet of the ground. Using this disability is a much better way to grow a fine crop of carrots.

Once again there are two ways of doing this:

One is to make a obstacle of three and a half feet right round the seed-bed with horticultural fleece or netting. I have tried this and find it is not so easy to continue the obstacle because of wind and rain which makes it collapse.

The way I use, is to sow my carrots in tubs or troughs and put them on a bench. A friend of mine puts his on the roof of his garage. We both have fine crops of carrots each year.

The celery fly

The celery fly is a very different creature to the carrot fly; they can fly and has green eyes. The larvae of this fly is 7mm long, where as the carrot fly’s larvae is 9mm long, so if you do not see the two together in the larvae stage, it is difficult to know the difference.

Once again, the best way of dealing with this pest is to make the celery fly go away and satisfy somewhere else by making the vegetation distasteful. This is best done by dusting the crop frequently with equal parts of lime and old soot. The lime should be finely powdered and the dustings should be done when the vegetation is wet or damp with dew, so that the soot/lime mix sticks to the vegetation.

It is really worth doing something about this pest because the females of this very destructive fly are most prolific in the laying of eggs. The grubs that hatch bore their way into the tissues of the celery vegetation and absolutely kill the crop.

The celery fly also attack parsnips. the crop will characterize inconsistent lines on the leaves along with brown patches. You can save your crop by taking the leaves and burning them.

If, you wish, I am sure that you can buy some sort of chemical spray to deal with the ‘ fly problem’, however I prefer to garden without chemicals.

leave your comment