Carrot rust fly

Pests Guide

Signs of the Pest


Carrot rust fly larvae feed on roots of carrot, celery and parsnip plants and parsley.

Solutions to the Pest


Put lawn clippings around the plants – this confuses the flies' sense of smell and stops them landing to lay eggs.


Put a polythene "fence" (800mm high) around the crop.

This stops flies from finding egg-laying sites near the ground.


Push earth up around plants to make it harder for larvae to get to the roots.


Thin when plants are small, so you don't damage the roots left in the ground.

Flies use their sense of smell to find targets, so disturbing the plants will attract them.


The Egmont Gold variety of carrot tolerates carrot rust fly better than others.


Use of row covers will help to protect plants from damage but they must be installed before adult fly lays eggs on plants; harvest carrots in blocks; do not leave any carrots in the ground over winter to reduce overwintering sites