One of the curses gardeners must contend with is the wretched rust fly. Similar in appearance to the average house fly, the rust fly’s sole mission in life is to find and infest carrots, parsnips, celery, celeriac, parsley and dill. They lay larvae which then feast on your crop, leaving pitted vegetables with black rings and holes, making them unfit for human consumption.
Innocuous looking, but actually pure evil:
Your best line of defence is a prophylactic measure; cover all the above mentioned plants with row cover (be careful you don’t grab crop cover). This will allow sunlight and water through but will impede the rust fly from getting to your carrots and the soil around them. Rotating your crops from season to season is also a good idea, as is harvesting your carrots and other vegetables promptly.
Now, it’s not Fort Knox, but I thought I had done a fairly substantial job of securing the few carrots that managed to come up-until I found one of those sneaky little pests crawling up the underside of the row cover. I admired his dedication, but needless to say he met with an untimely demise.
And speaking of carrots-make sure you choose a compost amendment for your soil that doesn’t include any manure or your carrots will come out very hairy…which I personally find not particularly appetizing, but to each their own!