Peach tree borer safety

Asked June 14, 2015, 1:47 PM EDT

Last year my cherry tree died from what I was told was peach tree borers. I also have a peach tree that seemed fine until a week ago. The tree is 4 years old and has bloomed the past 3 years, but this is the first season it actually has fruit on it. I am assuming it is dealing with the peach tree borers also...sappy at the base of the trunk at ground level and I could see one small worm. One branch has curling leaves and is clearly dying. I've been told to treat with mothballs 2 inches away from the trunk and cover them with a few inches of soil. Will this treatment make my fruit toxic? It is loaded with peaches, and I was really looking forward to fresh peaches and making peach jam. Anything I can use to get rid of these borers and preserve my crop? (I live in northwest Kansas Zone 5.)

Norton County Kansas fruits and vegetables insect management peaches fruit trees peach tree borers horticulture

1 Response

The borers will not prevent you from eating the fruit produced by the tree. There is no toxin or chemical transposed by the insect into the fruit. They simply cause damage to the trunk and stems of the tree. Over time, that may affect the number of fruit produced and the size and quality of those fruit, but they will always be safe to eat.

As far as controlling the borers, it is tough, as the insects are inside the tree rather than on the surface. Therefore, pesticides have more difficulty reaching the target insect. That said, there are some options, which are listed here: Peachtree Borers

I do not anticipate the mothball treatment will provide any significant protection from borers.