[NAFEX] Pear virus

Doreen Howard doreenh at ticon.net
Sat Nov 30 12:29:11 EST 2002

Ed Fackler wrote:
>      The so-called Stony Pit virus is often confused with severe stink bug
> damage or the symptoms are near the same.  And stink bug feeding is more
> common that most folks realize, especially when there are indigenous
> (of any type nearby--borders, ground cover species, etc.).  Early season
> (post bloom) damage is more severe (tender skins on fruit) with more
> distortion of fruit shape/texture.

I'd second this observation.  I've dealt with stink bug damage on pears,
peaches and apricots in the past, and it can be devastating.  I finally
learned from seasoned pros and from experience that the best defense against
stink bugs is neem seed oil spray from blossom drop until pit hardening on
soft fruits and further on pears.  Spray every 10 days to 2 weeks.  Neem
takes care of many fungal problems, too.  Stink bugs will make all small
fruit abort if the infestation is extensive.  Also, as Ed wisely counciled,
check the plants near your orchard.  Any legume seems to attract stink bugs.
I've know gardeners who uses cheap bush beans seeds planted en mass as trap
crops.  Also, nut trees are magnets for the critters.
Doreen Howard
Wisconsin Zone 4b, where it's snowing today

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