The Q&A Archives: insects

Question: i have a pear tree that was planted last fall. it bloomed beautifully this spring but the flowers, leave and tiny fruit have been eaten by insects. it appears to be small ants. do you know how i can keep the insects off the tree? this year it is too late for the fruit, but i would like to know what to do for next year.

Answer: Lots of little worms and insects love tender new leaves. If you don't see any pests now, they have already left the area so spraying won't help. Just inspect your tree's leaves periodically. If you find pests have them identified and we'll do our best to suggest control measures. If there are ants on the tree they are probably herding aphids. Aphids feed on the fluids within the leaves but don't eat holes in the leaves. Aphids can be controlled with Insecticidal soap sprays. Once the aphids are gone, the ants will leave, too. Little caterpillar type worms can be controlled with Bt (bacillus thuringensis), sold as Dipel or Thuricide. Better luck with your tree next year!

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