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Apple tree worms

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have several fruit trees but my apple and pear trees are always infested with worms, to the point that the fruit is completely unusable. Is there anything natural/ safe I can use?
post #2 of 6
pantyhose, you bag the fruit when they first start forming. it keeps the moth of them that lays the eggs that become worms.
post #3 of 6
My apple isn't bearing yet, so I'm curious to hear others' answers, as i hope to have some next year. I've seen nylon bags that you put around the apples. Does anyone know if those work?
post #4 of 6
Bags can help. It's also really important to clean up any fallen fruit and leaf litter right away. It can help break the life cycle. From what I understand, the moth lays eggs in the fruit which hatch into worms. When the fruit fall onto the ground, the worms burrow into the soil where they pupate over the winter. Then they emerge as adults in the spring to lay eggs on the fruit again. So if you can get the fruit off the ground and dispose of it quickly, you will end up with less adults laying eggs next spring. Most of the moths infecting your fruit will come from the soil under your tree.

Where you are in the cycle is going to depend on what zone you are in. If you are early enough, you can try bagging the fruit to prevent worms this year but if the fruit is already starting to form, you might be to late. If that's the case, I would pick all the fruit and dispose of it now to break the cycle.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiannon Feimorgan View Post
Bags can help. It's also really important to clean up any fallen fruit and leaf litter right away. It can help break the life cycle. From what I understand, the moth lays eggs in the fruit which hatch into worms. When the fruit fall onto the ground, the worms burrow into the soil where they pupate over the winter. Then they emerge as adults in the spring to lay eggs on the fruit again. So if you can get the fruit off the ground and dispose of it quickly, you will end up with less adults laying eggs next spring. Most of the moths infecting your fruit will come from the soil under your tree.

Where you are in the cycle is going to depend on what zone you are in. If you are early enough, you can try bagging the fruit to prevent worms this year but if the fruit is already starting to form, you might be to late. If that's the case, I would pick all the fruit and dispose of it now to break the cycle.
Oh I hope this is the case. We have an apple tree that is pretty much unusable fruit. So many worms. Well this last year the chickens free ranged all winter and their favorite spot was under the apple tree. They ate all the fruit, all the grass, and dug up all the dirt a good two to three inches there. Maybe they ate all the worms. At least I can hope.

Do you put a panty hose on each apple? Thats a lot of panty hose!
post #6 of 6
I'd never heard of the pantyhose trick, at least for apples. Onion storage, yes, apples no.

I have heard of the Japanese fruit bags, and have been aiming to try using sandwich bags and a stapler on some trees (just never got around to it the last few years). Apparently the codling moth/apple maggot can only come in/land at a horizontal plane, so if you cover the apple on all the sides (like a baggie), they can't land and burrow. But you can still leave the top or bottom open apparently so the fruit can breathe so to speak.

Hmmm... maybe I need to borrow someone's chickens to hang out in our yard a few months this year - that would be a fun clean up prospect.
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