|Life Cycle: ||The adult carrot rust fly is approximately 5 mm long, has yellow legs and a yellowish-red head on a shiny black body. Adults emerge from pupal stage at the end of May and remain until the end of June. Female rust flies will lay their eggs in the soil around carrot plants. The larvae hatch in 6-12 days and the white maggots enter the soil and begin feeding on the root hairs of young carrots. After a month of feeding the maggot pupates near the base of the plant. The pupa is brown and about 5 mm long. A second generation of adults emerges in August and a third in September. |
|Host: ||All members of the carrot family (Apiaceae) are hosts for the carrot rust fly. This includes agricultural vegetables such as carrots, celery, parsnip, parsley, fennel as well as weeds such as Queen Anne's lace and poison hemlock.|
|Bio Region: ||The carrot rust fly can be found throughout North America.|
|Damage: ||Damage from the larval stage of the carrot rust fly manifests itself as twisted and stunted roots. Scarring and burrow holes in the main tap root are also common. The damage is more prevalent the longer the hosts are in the ground.|
|Management: ||Crop rotation is very valuable in controlling the carrot rust fly. Ensure that the host crop is planted well away from previous host crops. The rust fly does not fly for long distances and may lay its eggs prior to finding the new host location. Row covers may be a valuable way to prevent the fly from laying eggs at the base of the host plant, but it possible that thin leaves of plants in the Apiaceae might be adversely affected by abbrasions from the row cover. If circumstances allow, consider a late June planting of carrots. This is after the first and most destructive generation of larvae has deposited in the soil. If the rust fly is present in significant numbers, harvest all carrots as soon as is commercially viable. This includes damaged, premature or unmarketable carrots which, if left in the ground, will provide the ideal habitat for overwintering.|
|Controls: ||There are no chemical controls that specifically target carrot rust flies that are allowed in organic systems.