The Q&A Archives: Sticky Stuff on Fruit

Question: Hello, my name is Jeana and I have a few fruit trees and there is alot of sticky like substance on my fruit. Bugs and dirt are all over my friut. What can a I do to get it off.

Answer: I'd guess your fruit trees are being attacked by a sucking insect that's producing a sticky, honeydew substance. Aphids, whiteflies and scales are insects that commonly attack fruit trees. Inspect the branches and look for bumps (scales), or egg clusters, or adult insects. If you find any, try washing them off with plain water. This will also remove or reduce the amount of honeydew. If the problem persists, you might want to try spraying with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil (AKA summer oil). This light grade oil can be used on most plants to kill scale and other pests. Check the label to see if it is registered for use on your particular types of fruit trees. To make sure it won't harm your tree, do a test spray on some of the foliage to be sure it won't burn. Once you have controlled the insect pests, the sticky problem should weather away. Good luck with your trees.

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