Keep apples protected from late-season insects
Apple maggot flies are among the pests that continue to attack apples in mid-to-late summer and codling moths are beginning their second generation. Warm April temperatures have accelerated these insects’ development in 2010. Both are direct pests of the fruit that is – adults lay eggs on the fruit which hatch and burrow in, causing internal damage and making fruit unacceptable for most uses. Apple maggots are tiny and cause a lumpy appearance to apples with small brown trails in the fruit, while the codling moth larvae tend to feed in larger tunnels near the core and make obvious holes in the fruit.
These insects are the main reason you should continue insecticide sprays on apples every 10-14 days until harvest. MSU Extension educator Mark Longstroth has prepared a simple spray guide for backyard orchardists that can be found at http://web1.msue.msu.edu/vanburen/fhomfrt.htm.
Both insects can be monitored and reduced by trapping, and by regularly picking up and destroying dropped fruit all during the growing season. For more information on apple pests and diseases, see “pests” on the website http://www.apples.msu.edu/.