• Carrots with carrot rust fly damage

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Carrot Rust Fly

The larvae of carrot rust fly eat and damage the roots of carrots, parsnips, turnip, parsley and celery.


The larvae of carrot rust fly burrow into and eat root crops.

The carrot rust fly adult flies are shiny, black, 5-8mm. They lay eggs near the roots of host plants. The emerging larvae burrow down to the roots where they damage the crop by eating the roots. The plants may show symptoms of stunted growth. Young plants wilt and may die. Carrots and parsnips will often become bulbous and forked. The carrots, parsnips and turnips will show evidence of being eaten and may be inedible.


Sprinkle in a band of Lawngard Prills (discontinued) 20 cm wide along the rows and cultivate into the soil to a depth of 5-10cm. A second treatment applied either side of the row close to the carrots should be undertaken approximately 2 months later.

Alternatively drench the soil by applying Organic Insect Control Pyrethrum using a water can with rose. This is best applied late in the day and every 2-3 days.

Rotate crops and do not plant root vegetables in areas affected by carrot rust fly the year previously.

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