Worms - Knowledgebase Question

Alexandria, VA
Avatar for Tortus
Question by Tortus
January 28, 1998
I have Cherry and Peach trees. I use Ortho Home Orchard spray at their suggested schedule. Until three years ago had no problem, beautiful fruit. Now ever though I spray, I STILL have small worms in the Peaches and some sort of grey fungus on fruit when is starts to ripen. Is there something better? Or maybe I should pick all the fruit off this year once it forms so the bugs and fungus won't have anything to eat, and help it die off?

Answer from NGA
January 28, 1998
nd then emerge as it ripens? I'm not sure that picking fruit early will avoid mold - they may just mold in storage. Also, repeated use of chemical poisons can actually benefit pests and diseases, as they become resistant over time. Broad-spectrum pesticides also kill many beneficial insects that are natural predators of pests, and they do not rebound and become resistant the way pest insects do.

The best way to deal with pests and disease is to treat for them when you notice there are pests inthe area, or the conditions are just right for diseases to strike. This is called monitoring. Since insects emerge and diseases strike when nature tells them to (after so many warm days, with the right kind of humidity, etc.) rather than by the calender,it could be that warmer/cooler/more humid/drier conditions last year threw the schedule off, so your spray didn't hit them when they were vulnerable. This is why monitoring is important. You can take action when the pests are present, and control them effectively.

Your extension office (ph# 703/838-0960) can help you identify the pests and with monitoring information. - if you then want to try an organic or low-impact control, be sure to ask. We can help with that information, too, once the pests/diseases have been identified. Hope this helps!

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