Pest elimination

Asked December 11, 2019, 12:01 PM EST

I have a couple of questions relating to pests, both the insect variety as well as the underground furry type. We purchased our home in June of this year and on the property I have a single apple tree and a single pear tree.(I believe the apple tree is granny smith, the pear a bosc. Both were attacked by insect pests. The apples would get a dark, circular spot similar to a bruise which would then grow and infect the entire apple. Same with the pears. Ive done some on line research but but not sure of the best, safest treatment. I have no experience with fruit tree care. Secondly, we have been invaded by moles and gophers. Have tried the different poisons on the market to no avail. Just bought a mole trap, and am looking at a gopher trap, but both are a bit expensive and I'm being overrun so not sure how many I might need. Any advice on the best way to deal with these critters would be appreciated.

Jackson County Oregon

1 Response

It could be either stink bug damage or Lygus bug damage. Both of these insects overwinter as adults in protected areas such as leaf debris, in bark cracks or similar. Adults become active in early spring, feeding on buds of trees and shrubs before moving to other plants. Eggs are laid in the stems and other tissues of host plants. There may be several generations per year. Eliminate weeds that serve as protection and early season food for the insect.

Use a dormant oil horticultural spray in the fall after leaf fall and in February. This will help to smother egg masses that may over winter.

Here are a couple of publications you can review:

Moles, voles and gophers all create tunnels and are active underground, but what they eat and the damage they cause varies. They all improve the soil by aerating it and mixing nutrients, but sometimes their habits get them in trouble with gardeners.

Gophers favor bulbs and roots. Voles go for grass, but also gnaw on shrubs and stems nearest their holes and runways. Moles, which are rarely if ever seen, prefer non-plant food.

Here is a publication you may find useful:

Hope this helps!