Cherries and worms


Can you tell me if you know how to get worms out of cherries that have been picked from the tree? Is there a method of some sort? We would like to use the fruit but it is very unappealing to want to eat something with moving parts. I hate to compost the fruit if there is some sort of solution.

I can’t seem to find any info on this only how to try and stop them from coming back each year.




The worms are likely the larvae of the cherry fruit fly.  Although the worms are not harmful, most people don’t want to eat fruit infested with them and I found nothing in the literature suggesting how to rid mature, picked fruit of these critters.  Note that the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) suggests that when the cherry crop is infested with maggots, it is not worthwhile harvesting.

You’ve likely seen our Ask a Master Gardener post Worms in cherries.  The post notes that preventing the worms from getting into the cherries is the best option, and provides strategies to consider for this coming spring.  The post also refers to OMAFRA’s Online Gardener’s Handbook 2010 – I’ve included the updated link, as the article includes lots of helpful details about growing fruit trees in the home garden.

July 25 2022