Worms in my fruit

Asked March 5, 2017, 11:50 AM EST

I have 12 beautiful dwarf fruit trees that produce very well. The problem is (I think) coddling moths. It started just with my apples then went on to pears, cherries and peaches. The fruit is misshapen and puckered and I find little worm paths through the fruit. I have tried traps and sticky balls but have gotten nowhere. Is there something non-poison I can spray on them? If so, exactly WHEN do I do it to ensure I get some fruit? Thanks, Mary

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Codling moths frequently affect apple and pear fruits but a number of other pests could account for the damage you have described. For example, misshapen and puckered apple fruits suggest the presence of apple maggots. Following are links to information about insect pests most likely to be damaging the fruits you mentioned. It's important to know which insects are present before deciding how to control them. Timing of controls vary and there isn't a single control, toxic or non-toxic, that can be used to achieve your goal. As you have noted, traps alone usually do not provide control and are often best used to simply to determine when a particular pest is present.

Cherry fruit fly
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/fruit/integrated-pest-management-for-home-stone-frui...

Codling moth
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/fruit/apple-pest-management/codling-moth/

Plum curculio
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/fruit/apple-pest-management/plum-curculio/

Apple maggot
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/fruit/apple-pest-management/maggot/

Following is information about organic ways to reduce fruit pests:

Spinosad
http://horttest.tamu.edu/newsletters/hortupdate/hortupdate_archives/2004/mar04/Spinosad.html

Bagging
http://gleanmilwaukee.org/documentsgleanmilwaukee/fruitbagging.pdf

Kaolin Clay
http://articles.extension.org/pages/60881/can-kaolin-clay-sprays-reduce-insect-damage-to-apple-fruit

Learn more here:
https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/id/id-146-w.pdf