Systemic insect control

Asked January 6, 2015, 4:12 PM EST

I am interested in finding a systemic insect control for apple trees as we live in a residential area and the neighbors resist any spraying of our 5 apple trees. Bondi has a soil drench but our concern is as well what kind of effect is there with the potential harm to bees and is there a problem with residual in the mature fruit. I would prefer if there were a granular form making it easier to apply. Any advise you can give is much appreciated.

Ogemaw County Michigan home apple production apple insects fruit trees

1 Response

Sorry I do not have a good answer for you. The material you are looking at is the only systemic insecticide registered for home use on fruit trees. It is not registered for commercial growers to use in this way but it is registered for this use in the home garden. Commercial growers do not have access to ground applied systemic insecticides.
I was not aware that you could use it on bearing fruit but I see from the label that you can. If you follow the label and observe the 21 days before harvest interval there should not be any significant residues in the fruit. I think the best timing would be soon after bloom. This will avoid any pesticide in the trees when the bees are working the bloom and leave a long interval before harvest. This material should work well on sucking insects that attack the leaves, but it will not be particularly effective against direct pests that attack the fruit such as codling moth, plum curculio and apple maggot. Some organic producers use a Kaolin clay product called 'Surround' to coat the fruit so that insects do not recognize it. It is hard for a home owner to get a good thick coating on the tree.