most effective way to prevent apple maggots
I just read your apple maggot discussion and wondered which of the three approaches is most efficacious for controlling the problem. I lost ALL of my honeycrisps to apple maggots last year and kicked myself for not learning about this earlier and trying to do something. I didn't pick and discard all of the apples offsite, and the remnants of some apples may still be on the ground (though most have disintegrated). The plastic bag idea doesn't excite me because it seems so wasteful of a non-degradable material. How well do the traps work and where would I get them? Also, do you expect the maggots to appear earlier this year because of our warmer weather? Thanks! Rachel S.
I don't know why this question hasn't been answered sooner as it seems to have bounced between numerous people over 8 days. I will remedy that.
Bags can be reused year after year. You really MUST clean up each year or you are only increasing the number of maggots. Traps can be red balls coated with tanglefoot (the spray works well), if making your own Styrofoam balls painted using water base paint and hung in the tree (about 4 per tree should work) or use plastic bottles with holes cut in the upper portions so insects can get in with a mixture of 1 cup apple vinegar, 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon sugar. Empty and refill as needed. Insecticide can also be used but it must be resprayed every 7-10 days during insect time. Start your battle right after flowering and yes it will be earlier this year.