Answer: Numerous insects are pests on peach trees in South Carolina. They cause damage to the peach flowers, fruit, twigs, limbs and trunk. Some of the most common of these are plum curculio, Oriental fruit moth, peachtree borer, lesser peachtree borer, shothole borer, catfacing insects, scale, Japanese beetle and the green June beetle.
As a result of the need to control some serious insect pests as well as disease organisms, individuals who grow peaches in their backyard for home use often discover that obtaining acceptable quality fruit requires more specialized care than they can give. It should be noted that without the application of well-timed pesticides, it is common for insect pests and disease to ruin the entire crop as well as damage the tree(s).
Several all-purpose fruit sprays are on the market for homeowner use. These materials contain an insecticide and fungicide that will control most insects and diseases seen in a home orchard fruit tree situation. As with any pesticide, read and follow all label directions and precautions.
Aside from pesticides, homeowners can follow such cultural practices as proper sanitation to reduce insect pests significantly. Sanitation includes quickly removing and destroying dead, diseased and damaged wood and fruit. The leaves, wood and fruit often provide pests with places to complete their development or to survive the winter.
Although adequate insect control on peaches usually requires spraying trees, these sprays need to be timed accurately to be effective. Knowledge of the insect pests and their life cycles aids in identification as well as the early diagnosis of a developing pest problem.
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