[NAFEX] Winter moth in apple tree/Spinosad
list at ginda.us
list at ginda.us
Sat Apr 15 12:33:17 EDT 2006
Last year my apple trees were devastated by winter moth (or some
other caterpillar that acts early and crawls into the center of the
buds to eat out the growing tips, brfore graduating to inchworm-hood.)
This year I hope to beat them. I sprayed dormant oil a few weeks
ago, and today I put on an application of spinosad-based
insecticide. It's supposed to be quite safe. The warning label says
"keep out of reach of children" and "don't use your kitchen utensils
to measure this", and nothing more than that. It is supposed to be
fairly benign towards beneficial insects, with the exception of
bees. But it's only supposed to be harmful to bees on the day of
application. (Until it dries, I'd guess, although the label lists
some number of hours.) It breaks down quickly, which is a nuisance
re re-application, but means it doesn't build up in the environment.
And the "season" for winter moths is rather short, so it's not like
I'll be doing this all summer. But of course, the big question is,
does it work?
So I sprayed today, since the crab-apples will be in bloom in a
couple of days, and I don't want to kill all my bees. Depending on
how things look, I will probably spray again after the eating apples
drop their petals. (The crabs sprout and bloom earlier than the
Last year I tried surround with no visible impact at all.
Spinosad is probably expensive for a real orchard, but for a couple
of small backyard trees the major investment is the time to spray,
clean up, etc., for almost any insecticide.
Anyone used the stuff?
eastern Mass., zone 6
bud clusters on crabs, green tips on apples, daffs and forsythia in
full glory. A beautiful spring day.
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