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Dealing with moths

Posted by TN Nursery on

It's a rewarding moment that a gardener waits for all year, that first bite of fruit from their fruit tree. But woe to the gardener who bites into that fruit and finds that something has already been there and bitten it. Moths can be especially devastating to fruit trees and fruit crops. It’s not so much the moth that is the problem, but the larva that does the damage. The moth itself is not really a native insect but was brought to the United States hundreds years ago and is wreaking havoc ever. Most people refer to it as the codling moth. The larva of this moth does more damage to fruit crops every year than frost and disease combined. They tunnel down to the very core of the fruit, and as it eats the fruit, it produces a steady flow of chewed up material or excrement. It makes the fruit unusable. Sometimes, the larva may even enter the same piece of fruit from several different directions, producing several holes. Unless you are vigilant in inspecting your tree’s bark in the fall, you may miss this troublesome little invader. They spend the winter under the loose bark of the fruit tree or somewhere near it. 

You will normally see this invasive little moth about the time that the last blossoms on the fruit tree fall. Within a few days, the females begin to lay their eggs on the leave of the fruit trees and some ten to fourteen days later, the larva emerges and proceeds to devastate a fruit tree or fruit crop. Try and control the damage. Picking up and disposing of any fruit that falls to the ground are one way. Another clever way is to attach several strips of cardboard around the tree trunk giving the larva a place to make cocoons. Then, simply remove and destroy the cardboard before the moth emerges. With this insect, however, chemical control is the most successful way of making sure that the fruit is not destroyed. Repeat chemical applications every two weeks from the time the blooms start to fall until the fruit is taken off the tree. Sevin dust is a wonderful product to use, and your local nursery can recommend some other good chemical treatments.

Sugar Maple trees are perfect for any yard.

  • moths
  • pesky insects
  • moth problems
  • moths eating my plants
  • plant problems
  • bug problems