[NAFEX] Winter moth in apple tree/Spinosad

list at ginda.us list at ginda.us
Sun Apr 16 10:53:52 EDT 2006

Update (yes, after one day):

Spinosad works better than Surround, for sure (at least for winter  
moths).  The Surround did nothing at all, and every day the trees  
looked worse.  Today I went out to check the tree where I saw damage  
yesterday.  A couple of leaves had started to unfurl, and they seemed  
no more damaged than yesterday.  I found an inactive caterpillar on  
the inside of one, visible without moving the leaves - not hiding  
safely inside the bud.  It's about 1.5mm long, and maybe 0.2mm wide,  
about the same size as the one I dug out of a bud yesterday.  I will  
cross my fingers and keep an eye on them.


On Apr 15, 2006, at 12:33 PM, list at ginda.us wrote:

> 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, before 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
> domestic apples.)
> 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?
> Ginda
> 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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