Walnut tree Husk Flies - Knowledgebase Question

Tonasket, Wa
Avatar for lltkean
Question by lltkean
June 16, 2007
How can I control the walnut tree Husk flies that attack the walnuts and turn them black. I have an English Walnut tree. I just discovered after two years of searching that it a walnut husk fly causing the problem. They are in the ground until late June or July. I have dogs and cats, so I don't want to use something that may hurt them.

Answer from NGA
June 16, 2007
It sounds to me as though you've done a fair amount of research into the Walnut Husk Fly. You probably already know that malathion is the chemical recommended by Washington State University for control of the adult flies and that timing is paramount to killing the adults. Malathion is probably not something you'll want to use, given the pets you have. Although the husk flies turn the husks black, the nuts are usually edible, although hard to access through the hardened husks. Aside from chemical sprays, I can only suggest you practice good garden sanitation; raking and disposing of fallen walnuts and leaves at the end of the season. As with all pests, there is a natural predator out there and eventually a balance will be struck. You'll just have to wait until the good insects show up to eliminate the larvae that are causing the damage to your walnuts.

Best wishes with your garden!

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