Pear harvest

Asked August 26, 2018, 8:32 PM EDT

Hello. I just harvested my pears, and many are showing signs of having hosted codling moths. Is there anything I can do at this point to preserve the pears post-harvest? I soaked the damaged pears in chlorine water for about 20 minutes (thinking the bleach might kill any remaining moths), dried them off, and set them on the porch on top of newspaper. I noticed a couple of worms crawling out of the fruit, after I washed them. Thanks.

Deschutes County Oregon

1 Response

Thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.

It is too late to try to eradicate codling moth worms from your pears this year. You can be prepared for next year by taking actions recommended in the OSU Extension Happy Apples Project at this link:

We do not recommend soaking foods in bleach solution. Sometimes you can get pests to leave home grown vegetables like broccoli by soaking in a salt-water brine for a period of time.

In the case of your pears, we first recommend that you cut out the worms and sections damaged by the worms and any mold that may have begun to form. Next you will need to apply a heat treatment to kill any residual bacteria left by the worms as this can also cause illness. Any fruit chunks or slices that you wish to can, dry or freeze would need to be boiled for 5 minutes in water, sugar syrup or juice. Pear sauce needs to be brought to a boil before canning.