An easy way to keep fruit tree pests from laying their eggs on your fruit tree flowers is to make a banana smoothie.
This smoothie must be put out before the fruits flowers.
Once the fruit flowers, the insects may have laid their eggs in the flower.
How To Make A Banana Smoothie
To create the smoothie, add one banana, a cup of sugar and a cup of plain white vinegar to your blender.
Once the ingredients are in, blend until smooth.
How To Lure The Fruit Tree Pests
You will want to gather several gallon jugs.
Milk jugs work best since they have handles that can be used to hang them with.
Fill the empty milk jugs two-thirds full of water and add the entire contents of the blender to the milk jug.
Hang the jug in the tree.
One jug will be enough for a small tree, however two to three jugs may be necessary for larger trees.
For small fruits such as strawberries, use a short shepards hook so the jug is suspended directly above the strawberry patch.
Outsmart Fruit Tree Pests By Picking Up Fallen Fruit
Keep fruit that falls to the ground picked up.
This will help stop insects from burrowing into it.
The fruit can be tossed in the compost pile, buried in the ground or given to chickens to eat if it is ripe.
Also be sure to pick up any leaves on the ground around your fruit trees come fall so pests don’t have a hiding place over the winter.
Diactomaceous Earth Kills Fruit Tree Pests Too
Another way to discourage insects such as slugs is to put diatomaceous earth on the ground under your plants.
When soft bodied insects crawl across this material, it will slice them up, causing them to dehydrate and die.
This will not harm earthworms when they work it into the ground.
Healthy Soil Keeps Fruit Pests At Bay
A key factor in growing fruit trees that are pest and disease resistant it to plant them in healthy soil.
Begin by making sure the pH of the soil is the correct pH for the fruit tree you are growing.
Then make sure the area has good drainage.
You can easily test this by digging a hole, filling it with water and waiting ten minutes to see what happens.
Water that quickly drains out means you have good drainage, but if it lingers in the hole, or doesn’t drain at all, the drainage is poor and the soil needs amended so it will drain properly.
Another important step is to make sure the soil has good fertility.
Believe it or not, when a plant has adequate fertility, it can battle pests and even disease better than when it is lacking the nutrients it needs.
Other Fruit Tree Pest Control Methods
While I love using the banana smoothie jugs to control the fruit tree pests on my property, sometimes more control is needed.
The first step however is making sure you know the good bugs from the bad bugs.
You want the good bugs around, not only for pollination, but for bad bug control.
Many bugs, such as the parasitic wasp, lays their eggs on bag bugs, such as the hornworm, and in this case it is better to let nature take her course than to spray or kill the bugs.
Pests that are good guys on fruit trees include lacewings, lady beetles and hoverflies, among others.
However, if you have pests that you do not want on your fruit trees and they are causing damage, if the banana smoothie is not working, feel free to move on to the next options, which include:
- Use a strong stream of water with some fish oil added and spray that on the bark of the tree to help dislodge pests
- Glue bands
- Pheromone traps
- Dormant sprays
- Kaolin clay
- Horticultural oil
- Microbials, such as Dipel or Javelin
- Entrust, a spinosad product
Be sure to see if these products are recommended for use in organic gardening if that is your preference.
Follow all label instructions.
Be sure to wear long pants, a long sleeve shirt, waterproof shoes, waterproof gloves and a hat.
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