Picture of infestation of cherry blackfly on green leaves

Pest Control: Cherry Blackfly

William Sibley

Batten down the hatches, put on your tin hats, or as my dear old Mum used to do in the Blitz - wear a colander on your head! Gird your loins and take evasive action – it’s Cherry Blackfly time!!!

They strike when you least expect them and appear as if from nowhere. They are the Ninjas of the fruit-growing world. Tiny black jewels appearing in clumps on the leaves of cherry, curling the young leaves into ever stranger shapes and distorting the shoot growths and exuding a sticky liquid.

If you don’t act soon, then you may fear the worst - no cherries?!!!! And what, may you ask, is a Summer without cherries?

Fortunately, help is at hand in the form of ladybird and hoverfly larvae which will chomp through hundreds a day. If you can combine this little army of helpers with a strong jet of water to wash the little devils away, then all is not lost and recovery can begin. Blast them with your water pistols – and pull that trigger like you mean it!

However, in some very severe cases, the Terrace Fruit Grower must resort to stronger measures in the form of an aphicide. There are good natural products for sale in your favourite garden centre which will help to rid you of this most unpleasant pest, or you could also resort to one of the very safe chemical aphicides. Whichever way you decide to tackle the problem, immediate action is the watchword of Cherry Blackfly hunter. Don’t delay. Act today!!