Apple Tree pest #791691

Asked May 19, 2022, 3:21 PM EDT

Hi, For the 2nd year in a row, there is a small insect that is eating/killing the blossoms on my young apple trees. It looks similar to a fruit fly. It seems to attack blossoms and some leaves after the bloom. I have "googled" this many times, but can't seem to find out what it is or how to mitigate it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Lucas Peterson

Lamoille County Vermont

Expert Response


Thanks for reaching out.
Based on the photos, I'm not sure I know what it is that's attacking your apple trees. However, I'm providing you with the Vermont Invasive link to the Pear Thrip site. I want to be sure we can identify the thrip if it is the problem. Pear Thrips:

  • Adults emerge from underground in April and begin feeding and laying eggs on foliage and flowers of host trees
  • Adults may be present from March to May
  • In late May, the larvae drop from the tree canopy and go in the soil where they pupate and become adults in the fall
  • Most of the year is spent underground, not feeding
  • Both adults and larvae feed on young leaves, flowers, and fruits
For more information about the Pear Thrip - VT Invasives:

If you don't recognize the Pear Thrip as your pest, then head to the University of Maine's web site to look at additional pests that might be the issue. U Maine Extension, Insect Pests:
This site lists a host of critters that could raise havoc in an apple orchard. It should help narrow the field.

The Cornell Extension Fruit Guide is just an excellent resource for any home fruit tree gardener. Fruit Guide:

Once we have a positive identification of your pest, we can provide additional guidance. Hopefully the guides will help narrow the field. If the guides aren't helpful, we'll take another crack at it. Fingers/toes crossed.
Judy Mirro Replied May 19, 2022, 5:11 PM EDT

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