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Pear midge

Contarinia pyrivora (Riley)
Diptera: Cecidomyiidae

The adult resembles a very small mosquito or gnat; the body is brown and the wings transparent with simple veins. The larva is a white maggot with no legs or visible head; the posterior end is blunt, and the front end tapers to a point (A).

Distribution

CT, NY, NJ, ON

Damage

Attacks pear mainly. Adult females deposit eggs between the petals of unopened fruit buds, and the larvae feed in the seed cavities and internal fruit tissue. Infested pears enlarge more rapidly than normal, and are distorted in shape (B), turning black and dropping by early summer.

Similar Species

Larvae of apple leafcurling midge (Dasineura mali), apple maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella) and the cherry fruit flies (Rhagoletis spp.) are similar in appearance, but none of these infest pears, and may be distinguished by their adult forms and later timing of appearance in the year.

Management

Sprays are seldom required, but if there is a history of damage from this pest, an insecticide should be applied as soon as the fruit buds reach the swollen bud to green cluster stage of development; a second spray may be necessary 7–10 days later, particularly if cool weather delays the white bud stage.

Pest and Beneficials Search (search again)

The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.