How can I prevent caterpillars distorting and scaring the fruit on my trees?
Posted by Dobies Staff on 18 November 2014 09:32 am

Tortrix moth caterpillars attack mainly Apples, but can also be found on Pears, Plums, and Cherries. The night flying moths are active during the summer. The females lay their eggs either singly or in clusters on the leaves. The green caterpillars feed on fruit, leaves and buds for about a month before spinning a silk cocoon drawing leaves together to form a protective cover where they pupate. The damaged fruits can have various symptoms such as distortion, tunnelling and superficial scarring. A second generation of adults emerge in the autumn and the resulting caterpillars hibernate in cocoons. They become active again in spring and will feed on leaves and buds prior to pupating.

Caterpillars can be controlled by spraying with Bayer’s Sprayday Greenfly Killer or other suitable insecticide following the manufacturer’s recommendations. Apples and Pears are generally sprayed two weeks after petal fall or mid June for plums. A second application should be made two weeks later. 

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