Apple trees and pear trees are essential fruit trees, generally generous and quite simple to cultivate and for these reasons very common both in orchards and as garden plants.
However, they can be attacked by various diseases and insect pests, so much so that in the most severe cases the fruits seem almost completely rotten, and some even believe that a productive and satisfactory organic arboriculture is not possible. Fortunately, however, the organic fruit grower, both professional and amateur, has several means and preventive strategies that allow him to harvest healthy apples and pears.
The key is to keep an eye on plants at all times and learn to recognize early signs of pests, perhaps using monitoring traps so you know quickly when it’s time to intervene. From carpocapsa to bumblebees we see what are the main insect pests pear and apple trees and how to keep them at bay with ecological but effective methods. In Orto Da Coltivare you can also find an article dedicated to the main diseases of pear and apple trees, always based on natural remedies that allow harvesting healthy fruits.
Scale insect of S. José
gray apple aphid
Red and yellow rhodium wood
Wasps and hornets
Pomonella carpocapsa is a moth that can be very damaging to pome plants. Carpocapsa adults are moths with gray streaked forewings, while larvae are pale with dark heads that later turn pink. The damage is determined by the insect in the larval stage, which digs tunnels in the fruit pulp. This pest affects both apple and pear trees, although it is commonly called “apple worm”.
Adults appear from May, after overwintering protected in cocoons in the ravines of the bark, and for this reason, at the end of summer, it is very useful to wrap the trunks with drawings wavy, so that the forms can nest there in the winter, which can then be easily eliminated.
There are several ecological control strategies and means that can be adopted to contain this insect, which can make two or three generations during the season. In professional organic apple or pear orchards of at least one hectare, the most valid system is that of pheromone diffusers for mating disruption, as it limits the reproduction of the insect. Its effectiveness is dispersed over small areas such as those of a pleasure garden, especially if they are mixed. So in these cases it is better to orient yourself by other means.
A good alternative also suitable for the defense of certain plants is the installation of food traps Tap Trap, which with an easily bait of sweet and spicy wine can capture adult individuals.
What insecticides allowed by organic farming, we can make treatments based on Spinosad or granulosis virus to be carried out in season or in autumn cures with entomoparasitic nematodes of the genus Steinernema.
It is also valid to install insect nets after fruit set, putting them in first would prevent bee pollination.
Finally, it seems that spraying the foliage with zeolite powder a fine mineral of volcanic origin, can create a sort of fine barrier in plants, with a repellent effect against this insect and others.
The presence of this scale insect can be recognized by the reddish spots it creates on apple or pear trees, but its colonies can also be seen on the branches, where they nest by sucking the sap. When there are few plants, vigorous patches of s or eliminate scale insects with fern macerations. Remember that the abundance of mealybugs is favored by thick, shady foliage and therefore a reasoned pruning and well managed (always without exaggeration) is useful.
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If, during the harvest of pears and apples, it is found that at least 5% of the fruits show signs of mealybug, they should be treated with mineral oils before the next vegetative restart.
gray apple aphid
This aphid lives in colonies like the others, but it is gray in color with a powdery and waxy appearance. The gray apple aphid appears and causes damage as soon as it flowers, irreversibly deforming the shoots and then the fruits. There is also a very similar gray aphid that affects the pear tree, but the pear aphid is less damaging because it more rarely attacks the fruit.
the ladybugs they are very useful as natural predators of aphids, it is a pity that they appear a little later than the arrival of this aphid, which must therefore be eradicated by other means such as azadirachtina natural insecticide based on Neem oil or with Marseille’s soap . In prevention, weekly sprays of natural garlic macerates with a repellent effect are also valid.
Leaf embroiders are Lepidoptera (butterflies) of different species. The damage they cause resembles embroidery as they are fine tunnels in the leaf parenchyma or in the skin of the fruit. Like other Lepidoptera that affect many species of fruits and vegetables, these are also well defeated with products based on Bacillus thuringiensis, which is already worth using when the presence of embroideries is noted in 3 to 5% of the fruit and repeat the treatment other times if the damage continues.
The antonym is a beetle with a rostrum in front, a kind of beak. The females lay their eggs in the flower buds, which therefore no longer hatch.
Given the precocity of the damage, it is necessary to be very opportune to detect it and treat it with natural pyrethrum . It is best to use this photolatable insecticide at night, also to avoid harming bees, as it is not very selective and could also kill beneficial insects.
Pear brooch P
It is a very small insect with transparent wings which sucks the sap from the leaves, buds and twigs of the pear tree, coating them with its sugary excrement. Marseille’s soap dissolved in water is excellent for eradicating it, whereas in the case of large organic pear trees it is possible to throw antagonistic insects as Anthocoris nemoralis.
red and yellow wood
Both are butterflies which, in the larval stage, dig tunnels in the wood of the plant, hence the name “rodilegno”. They can be seen by noticing their holes or the woody rust on the outside of them. The presence of the peak is a natural helper in the fight against this insect, since this bird willingly hunts rodent larvae. But if your contribution is not enough, we could treat it with Bacillus thuringiensis an excellent larvicide of natural origin.
The tíngono is a small insect with a flattened and dark body and transparent wings, which shows its damage on the lower pages of the leaves, with various black dots (excrement) and light dots. When, looking for the shoots and the first leaves, we notice their appearance in at least 10% of them, it can be treated with Marseille’s soap or with natural pyrethrum when flower petals fall.
Pear tree tentredine
The larvae of sawfly larvae penetrate the fruit and eat it. In pears, which are destined to fall before ripening, swellings can be observed where the laying occurred. white chromotropic traps They can be used for mass capture of tentaredin pear tree . The tentredina hibernates in the ground and wakes up in the spring, so in the case of plants already attacked, it is advisable to do two pyrethrum treatments one before flowering and one after.
Wasps and hornets
Wasps and bumblebees mainly attack almost ripe pears because they are very attracted by their sugar content, whereas in apple orchards their presence is less disturbing. To act effectively against this type of insect, it is necessary to operate well before the pears are ready, that is to say as soon as they bloom, by installing food traps such as the Vaso Trap, as this prevents reproduction.
Also in this sense, the organic fruit grower must be timely: already in spring he has the opportunity to prevent the damage that will probably occur at the end of summer, with the fruits close to maturity.