The Q&A Archives: Wasps & Hornets

Question: I am having a terrible problem with cicada killers and white faced hornets eating my apples.I wouldn't mind sharing some of the fruit, but they go from one to another partially eating the apple. The cicada killers are the worst. Is there anything that I can do?

Answer: Wasps and hornets especially enjoy ripe fruit and will arrive in hordes once they discover a source. Whether you're growing apples, grapes, peaches or pears, the best defense against these critters is to keep ripe fruit picked and fallen fruit cleaned up. Harvest in the early evening so you won't have to contend with too many of the insects. Once you have all the ripe fruit harvested and the fallen fruit cleaned up, you may be able to distract the insects with a trap placed several feet away from your tree. Try placing overripe fruit in a jar, covering the top with a funnel and hanging the trap in a tree 10'-20' away. The insects will crawl in but won't be able to get back out. While they're occupied you can harvest from your trees. Let the trapped insects out just before dusk so they can fly back home. (Wasps and hornets are beneficials in the garden.)

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