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#1 of 3 Old 05-28-2006, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,
I have a question about the nasties eating our apple tree. We just moved here last fall, and the tree looked fine, but we were puzzled by the lack of fruit. In hindsight, we should have thought a little further about this as it is pretty obvious that no fruit=problem. However, there are now a multitude of small, black, sort of furry caterpillars on the tree. They have a few pale orangey-grey spots, and they have eaten about 40% of the leaves and buds on the tree. We are fairly committed to organics, and I am very sensitive to pesticides after a bout of pesticide poisoning while working on a farm two years ago, so we would prefer to go the organic solution route. We are disappointed, but are ok with with no fruit this year. We would like to act proactively for next year. Is there anything that can be done? Any idea what these critters are even called? Any suggestions of "nearly" organic pesticides? Any info/suggestions would be much appreciated.
Thanks.
Katia

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#2 of 3 Old 05-29-2006, 09:04 AM
 
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Darn I was hoping you were going to ask about apple fly maggots,because I had an answer for that one. I did a search and came across this page to ID the little guys:
http://www.uidaho.edu/so-id/entomology/caterpillars.htm

There is usually something that will eat something else(biological control),so keep searching for an answer.If birds can eat them I would try to encourage them in the tree with feeders and nesting houses.

Oh, and though you did not ask.... for the flies I read to take red balls(Plastic pit balls work good)put them in sandwich baggies,dip in the sticky glue,and hang in the tree.This way you just change the bags when they are full of bugs,and don't have to bother with washing the ball. I am still looking for a homemade glue if you,or anyone has suggestions.
Best wishes!
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#3 of 3 Old 05-30-2006, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the reply mattemama. Our nasties look most like the satin moth larva, but not quite. I'm sure we have some different sorts of critters up here in a zone 3 (Ontario). I am still trying to track down some more solutions, but a friend did mention that her parents once sprayed Windex on a caterpillar infested apple tree. So I am going to haul out the ladder tomorrow and spray away with the basically full bottle I found in a closet when we moved in to this place (we use vinegar & water). I'll have to post if it works.
Thanks again.
Katia

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