Agronomy •  2022-06-10

Suppressing Blueberry Maggot in Organic Blueberries

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high bush blueberries

Blueberry maggot is an unappetizing prospect for both Canadian consumers and organic blueberry growers alike.    

One of the most serious blueberry pests, blueberry maggot has become a major problem in the Maritime provinces1, as well as the southern areas of Quebec and Ontario in recent years. The maggots can infest both lowbush and highbush blueberries, and since the larvae feed and develop within the fruit, the berries quickly become unmarketable.

Impact of the blueberry maggot

When blueberry maggots are left uncontrolled, almost 100 per cent of the blueberries in a field may be infested. Additionally, the movement of blueberry plants, fresh fruit and soil from regulated areas known to be infested to non-regulated areas is restricted2, and blueberry maggot is a regulated pest under the Plant Protection Act.

Luckily, organic blueberry growers can now turn to Entrust™ Insecticide with Qalcova™ active (spinosad) for peace of mind and protection. In 2021, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) announced the approval of a minor use label expansion registration for Entrust for the suppression of blueberry maggot on highbush and lowbush blueberries in Canada.3

low bush blueberries

Entrust™ Insecticide with Qalcova™ active

Entrust provides the performance organic growers have come to trust. Entrust is active on several important insects, with a unique mode of action that is low impact to beneficial insects when used according to the product label.

Qalcova™ active (spinosad) was the first commercialized active ingredient in the unique class of insect control products, the spinosyns. Qalcova has a natural origin and is produced from the metabolites of the naturally occurring soil bacterium, Saccharopolyspora spinosa.

For the best suppression of blueberry maggot in highbush and lowbush blueberries, follow these application best practices:

  • Apply 219-440 mL Entrust Insecticide per hectare in sufficient water (300 – 500 L/ha of water) to ensure thorough and complete coverage of the foliage.
  • Use the maximum rate when insect pressure is high.
  • Application should be based on the presence of adult pests (flies) as determined by local monitoring.
  • Use a maximum of three applications per season and allow 7-10 days between applications.
  • Do not apply within 1 day of harvest.
  • Always read and follow label directions.

For trusted performance in the suppression of blueberry maggot, contact our horticulture experts about protecting your organic blueberries with Entrust insecticide.