Pest Management

MSU recommends the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a combination of common-sense practices. Decisions are made based on pest lifecycles and their interaction with the environment. Chosen pest control methods are used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment.

Try our Pest and Beneficials Search

Use the pest and beneficials search to identify diseases, insect and mite pests and beneficials found in apples, a critical step in any integrated pest management plan.

View PDFs of common pests, diseases and beneficials

For a list of common apple insects and diseases found in Michigan along with images, go to these pages:

Beneficial insects can help you manage pest species. Get to know these natural enemies:

Rodents and deer

Key resources

  • Apple MRL posterNew: Apple MRL Poster - Adjusted pre-harvest intervals to comply with the maximum residue limits of U.S. and selected export markets for six insecticides registered for use in managing late season pests in Michigan apples in 2016.
  • MSU Diagnostic Services provides high quality diagnostics for plant health and pest-related problems.
  • A Pocket Guide for IPM Scouting in Michigan Apples. A field guide for identifying insect pests, diseases and natural enemies in the orchard. Also available in Spanish.
  • Fruit Management Guide. MSU Extension publication E154 assists fruit growers in selecting pest control tools for the coming growing season. It includes crop-specific information as well as up-to-date tips on related issues like safe use of pesticides, environmental protection, integrated pest management and new and emerging pests. Search at shop.msu.edu for the current version (updated annually).

Pollinators and pesticide use  

Pesticides, and in particular insecticides, can be harmful to pollinators. Most pesticide labels will advise against their use during crop bloom for this reason. If an insecticide must be used during bloom, be sure to use it as directed on the label. Apply the pesticide when bees are least active, and so that the pesticide dries before bees come into contact with flowers that have been exposed to it. For example, an application made at dusk or during the night will do the least harm to pollinators who visit flowers during the day. After the crop has finished blooming, be aware that pesticide drift onto non-crop flowering plants in adjacent habitat can harm pollinators on those flowers.

Growth stages

See the apple growth stages to quickly communicate the stage of development of the apple.