Plum Curculio - 2017

Asked August 18, 2017, 3:32 PM EDT

I live in Towson, Maryland. The family has always had a Damson Plum tree to make Damson Preserves. Ordinarily the Plum Curculio (I don't spray) destroys most of the crop. The last good year was 2014. However, this year is a banner year. The tree was loaded with plums and I have put up many jars of preserves. What is striking is the lack of any curculio worms in the plums or much damage due to them. Is there a reason the curculio are not as active this year (2017) ?? Carlton

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Your plum preserve sounds delicious! Insect populations ebb and flow from year to year and are affected by environmental conditions. Insect development is temperature dependent. We had a late frost early this spring, which could have affected the plum curculio population. Another factor to consider would be the success of their natural enemies (predators). If the plum curculio has had a lot of predator pressure, that could result in the lower population this year.