Organic Pest Controls for Fruit Trees

John Vivian shares revolutionary organic pest controls for fruit trees to help combat pests that attack orchard trees.

| October/November 1996

  • Protecting orchards from pests
    Most any kind of caterpillar—inch worms, the tent caterpillars that can defoliate cherry trees, army worms, and others—contract a fatal sbillach ache by ingesting Bt or Bacillus thuringiensis.
    PHOTO: FOTOLIA/XALANX

  • Protecting orchards from pests

This list of organic pest controls for fruit trees will help combat pests that attack orchard trees. 

Organic Pest Controls for Fruit Trees

Till recently even the most dedicated eastern organic orchardist has had to resort to powerful, indiscriminate insecticides from time to time—or lose a crop to the twin banes of fruit producers: the codling moth (apple maggot) and oriental fruit moth, whose brown-tunnel-making larvae ruin stone fruit

Now you can get Isomate-C to protect apples and Isomate-M for the oriental fruit moth. These are artificially produced sex pheromones—the chemical lures that females emit to attract males. At petal fall, and later if following generations are detected, plastic strips soaked in the female moth's version of Chanel No. 5 are hung in the trees, flooding the area with lepidopteran allure. The boys can't find the girls, resulting in 98 percent reduction in fruit damage. That's better than any chemical. No other species are affected, and there's no way the affected moths can become tolerant. Cost ranges from about $50 to $100 an acre. A bargain!

Pheromones are also put into traps that will reduce populations of such major pests as Japanese beetles and the peach twig borer—as well as apple and peach maggot adults. Surefire is the brand name.



Most any kind of caterpillar—inch worms, the tent caterpillars that can defoliate cherry trees, army worms, and others—contract a fatal sbillach ache by ingesting Bt or Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium that is harmless to all life but the target insect larvae. Dipel is the trade name of a widely available broad-spectrum variety. Special strains have been discovered/bred for specific pests such as the elm leaf beetle.

Agrimycin is a variant of the antibiotic strepbillycin that is effective against the fire blight that affects pears and apples.






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