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Cherry Insect Control during Harvest

June 7, 2019, WSDA PMD (TWS)


The 2019 cherry harvest has begun. During this time, it may be necessary to apply insecticides to manage pests such as the spotted wing drosophila and western cherry fruit fly. When selecting an insecticide and determining the application timing, there are two specific pesticide label restrictions that must be followed:

  • Pre-harvest Interval (PHI)
  • Restricted Entry Interval (REI)

Most insecticides applied at cherry harvest have a PHI of 0 to 14 days and a REI of 4 to 24 hours. In 2018, WSDA determined that malathion was being applied in the evening with the harvest crew entering the cherry orchard the following morning prior to the expiration of the 12-hour REI. This practice is contrary to the pesticide label. A violation of REI involving farmworkers could result in WSDA enforcement action.

It is important to always read and follow pesticide label directions and restrictions. For commercial applicators, make sure that you give your customer the required Worker Protection Standard information for worker notification, REI, posting and record keeping.

If you have any questions about pesticide labels instructions, contact WSDA’s Compliance Program (toll-free) at (877) 301-4555.


Washington State Department of Agriculture
Pesticide Management Division
PO Box 42560 • Olympia WA 98504-2560
(360) 902-2040 • Toll Free 1-877-301-4555

Washington State University