July 20th 1927

July 20th, 1927. Berwick Register.


The apple maggot adults were first seen this year on July 10th, this being the earliest emergence that has ever been recorded in Nova Scotia. The adults are a little less than the house fly and have dark colored bands on the wings. As there are many other flies with similar markings on the wings, probably a surer means of identifying them is the peculiarity that they have white parallel lines running transversely across the upper surface of the abdomen, the male having three of these lines and the female four. Eggs are laid beneath the skin of the apple and the cream colored maggot which hatches from them tunnels in all directions, hence the name "railroad" worm.

Except for one or two places, this insect, so far, is not a pest of importance in the Valley proper, but has for many years caused serious loss to orchardists west of Annapolis Royal and east of Avonport. It is also numerous in one or two orchards in Melvern Square, Annapolis County.

As this insect continues to emerge from the ground until September the time of egg laying covers a rather lengthy period. Also, since the scare in England on account of arsenical residues on apples we are unable to recommend the use of lead arsenate which up to 1925 had proved to be the most efficient control. Last summer we conducted some preliminary experiments with standard nicotine dust and found the flies were readily brought down with this material and this year we are planning on a more extensive try-out of the nicotine dust. However, like the budmoth which also has a lengthy period of egg laying, where the apple maggot infestation is severe, repeated applications will probably have to be made. For anyone who wishes to try out the nicotine dust method, we would suggest as tentative dates of application, July 16, July 27, and August 8. A person making only one application had better treat about July 25.

J.P. Spittall
Dominion Entomological Laboratory,
Annapolis Royal, N.S.


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