Effective Organic Gardening Pest Control For Fruit – Bearing Trees
Pests are certainly the most unwanted and unwelcomed boarders in your fruit trees. They feed on the foliage and fruits making them look very unattractive and inedible. Severe infestation can even cause grave damage and destroy the trees. Some resort to using chemical-based pesticides to eradicate these pests, but these types of pesticides can cause adverse effects on the trees, especially on the flavor and quality of the fruits. But hope is not lost, because there are a number of organic ways to rid your fruit trees of these pests while making sure that the fruits they bear remain toxic-free and safe to eat.
Here are some of the most common fruit tree pests and the organic ways to deal and control them:
Codling Moth. Control adult codling moths by sticky-trapping them with pheromone baits. During winter, young larvae are usually hiding in fallen fruits or under loose barks. Spray trees with horticultural oil in early spring before the leaves appear to kill the larvae. You can also use corrugated cardboard around tree trunks to confuse and trap the larvae. Destroy the cardboard once they have crawled inside and replace it regularly.
Plum Curculio. To control the adults, shake the tree to knock the pests off and collect the insects that have fallen by spreading any old sheet underneath the tree. Make sure to remove and destroy all infested fruits and plant debris that have fallen to the ground because they usually hide larvae or overwintering adults. Cultivate the soil to help check and kill the pupae. Chickens eat these insects so encourage them to feed around the trees.
Spider Mite. During mid until late summer, randomly select ten to fifteen leaves for each tree and checking them for the presence of this mite. Leaves from lower shoots and water sprouts are the ones that are usually attacked. If there is an average of six to ten spider mites per leaf, it means that the tree is infected. Wash the leaves with a strong blast of water or better yet, a solution of soapy water will help control this pest. Use dormant oil in early spring, or use light horticultural oil or insecticidal soap in summer. A number of beneficial insects prey on this pest and attracting them near the trees is another good solution.
Borers. First off, borers can be prevented from infecting a tree. Trees become vulnerable once they’re wounded. Prevent trunks from scarring or cover existing wounds will protect young trees from borers. If prevention is no longer possible, then it’s time for control. Dead bark, wilted stems, sawdust piles are the common signs of infection. If these signs are evident, check for larvae by cutting the affected stems open and manually pulling out the larvae and killing them. Beneficial nematodes may be injected into the stems to help kill off the remaining larvae. For severely infested stems, remove and destroy them immediately. If infestation is grave, remove the tree to prevent other trees from being infected.
Thrips. Spraying neem oil, horticultural oil and organic soap solution during evenings can help control thrips once they infested the tree. It will need several applications before the pest is finally eliminated. Lacewings and other beneficial insects feed on this pest and encouraging them around the trees can make the job easier.
Oriental fruit moths. Cultivate the soil around infested trees to expose larvae and kill them off. Then use traps to attract adult males and prevent them from mating with the females. Introduce beneficial insects, such as parasitic wasps, and spray horticultural oil to eliminate this pest.