South Waikato News - - Gardening -

Have your ap­ples and pears been eaten from the in­side out? Codling moth lar­vae dam­age (pic­tured) is eas­ily iden­ti­fi­able, both from the trails of brown waste (frass) in­side the fruit, and the exit holes in the skins.

Codling moths can be con­trolled but you need to act in spring, when the trees are in blos­som. Hang pheromone mon­i­tor­ing traps (from gar­den cen­tres) and spray trees fort­nightly with eco-friendly cater­pil­lar-spe­cific in­sec­ti­cides such as Ki­wicare’s Or­ganic Cater­pil­lar Bio Con­trol or Yates Ul­tra Suc­cess. Both are made from nat­u­ral soil bac­te­ria that cater­pil­lars can’t digest.

At this time of the year, all you can do is cut out the bad bits posthar­vest, and make sure there’s no rot­ten fruit left on your trees or on the ground un­der them. If you keep chooks, let them eat the blem­ished fruit (and its pesky in­hab­i­tants). For those in the north, this ad­vice also ap­plies to guava moth in­fes­ta­tions, though they don’t have a sea­son as such, so you need to spray year­round to pro­tect ev­ery­thing from fei­joas to cit­rus.

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