Carrot Root Fly

What Are Carrot Root Flies?

The Carrot Root Fly (Psila rosae) is a small black fly that lays eggs which develop into creamy-yellow coloured larvae. These larvae damage Carrots and other vegetables such as Parsnips and Celery. There are normally two generations of Carrot Root Fly each year, one from May to June, and the next from August to September.

Carrot Root Fly Damage & Symptoms

The larvae will burrow into the Carrot roots making tunnels. Symptoms of infestations will show as rusty brown scars on the produce. Such damage can become so extensive that carrots become inedible. An early sign of Carrot Fly activity can be a blue-purple colouring of the Carrot plant foliage. 

How To Control Carrot Root Flies

Covering crops early on with fleecing will hide Carrots from the Carrot Root flies looking to lay their eggs. Our Carrot Root Fly Traps will also help monitor the Carrot Root Fly populations, and reduce the number of egg laying adults by catching them on specially coloured sticky traps, which acts as an attractant.

If you suspect Carrot Root Fly are already present, our Carrot Root Fly Nematodes can be applied to the soil or raised beds where the Carrots are growing. These nematodes will move through the soil to locate the Carrot Root Fly larvae and will significantly reduce their numbers. The nematodes will remain active in the soil for about three weeks, so repeat applications may be required and applications should be made for each crop of carrots. There is no harvest interval with nematode applications, as they are harmless to humans.