A new website launched recently aimed at informing the residents of the Okanagan Valley about Rhagoletis pomonella, an invasive Tephritid fruit fly also known as apple maggot. The website, called the 'Apple maggot Prevention Project using Landscape Ecology', or A.P.P.L.E.
(http://applemaggotproject.weebly.com), also aims to engage the public in helping to prevent the spread of the apple maggot.
Brian Muselle, a graduate student at the University of B.C., Okanagan campus, designed the website. A.P.P.L.E. will serve to: (1) act as a citizen science portal for residents of the Okanagan Valley to participate in locating common plants that are hosts of the apple maggot, specifically hawthorn and apple; and (2) provide some information on apple maggot, and its plant hosts, to residents. Although presently not established in the Okanagan Valley, apple maggot has been detected here in the last two years, is well-established in the rest of British Columbia and Canada, as well as in certain areas of Washington State where it has moved north over the last 25 years to our border. It is only a matter of time before this destructive pest tries to establish itself in the Okanagan Valley.
Spread the word, not the pest!