I wrote this article a few months ago but as several gardeners recently have been asking how to protect their fruit crops from both Codlin Moth and Guava Moth
I think it is well worth repeating this information. Guava moth is mostly in the upper north island but there has been a few cases in other areas likely as a result of fruit been brought south from infected areas.
So share with family and friends as there is nothing worse than losing your crop to these two pests.
There are two moths in New Zealand that attack fruit namely, Codlin Moth which have apples, pears and walnuts as their host fruit. Guava Moth which has all fruit and nuts as their host.
The Codlin Moth is seasonal active while there is fruit on their host plants but the Guava Moth is all year around going from one host tree to another.
Both are relatively easy to control so that you can obtain a reasonable amount of your crop as long as you follow my proven advise. Firstly let us understand how these two pests operate.
Being moths they only fly at night and they find their host tree by the smell of the forming and ripening fruit. So if they cannot smell your tree/fruit they will fly on by to a tree they can smell.
This is the first step in reducing the damage to your fruit by disguising the smell of the tree/fruit.
To do this you need an overriding smell that negates the smell of the tree.
Wallys Neem Tree Powder scattered on the ground underneath the tree from the trunk to the drip line.
Then by making some little bags out of curtain netting we hang more of Wallys Neem Tree Powder in the tree on the lower branches about head high at the four cardinal points.
So we use the Wallys Neem Tree Powder as described after flowering and when the fruit has formed to a reasonable size.
One application then is all that is needed for each crop to disguise the fruit as the powder last over 2 months slowly breaking down..
The next step in control is to prevent any grubs that hatch out near your fruit from eating their way into the fruit.
Once a grub enters the fruit you have lost the battle cause even if you use a poisonous systemic insecticide to kill it? Whats the point its going to die inside the fruit and be useless.
No you need a non toxic substance on the outside of the fruit that is going to prevent the grub from eating its way in.
Wallys Super Neem Tree oil with Raingard is the perfect answer.
You spray the fruit, not the tree so there is a coating of Wallys Neem Tree Oil on the skin of the fruit
protected from washing off in rain with Wallys Raingard (lasts for 14 days before reapplying.)
The Neem Oil is an anti-feedent which means when the young grub takes its first bite it will get some Neem Oil in its gut and will never eat again starving to death fairly quickly been so young.
On your mature fruit you will have a little pin pricked scar that where it took its one and only bite.
So all you do is just spray the maturing fruit every 14 days that are relatively easy to reach and spray.
Fruit that are more difficult to spray will likely be eaten by birds later on anyway and as long as you are getting a nice amount of fruit to harvest that is all that really matters.
Then there is also another way to control moth problem by which you set up a moth lure to attract them and kill them.
Take one litre of hot water add a100 grams of sugar, one teaspoon of marmite, half a tablespoon of Cloudy Ammonia and half a tablespoon of Vanilla:
Mix well and divide the mix between two plastic milk or soft drink bottles.
Punch some holes in the side of the bottles just above the level of the mix.
Place on a stand about a couple of metres away from the tree.
At about waist height like on a small folding table.
When a number of moths are caught dispose of them and make up a new solution.
Cloudy Ammonia used to be common once upon a time from a grocery store if not so easy to find try hardware stores, there are two chains in NZ and they may have.
If you do all three procedures for control or at least the first two then you should be able to once again en joy your own fruit.
The Codlin Moth traps are useful as if you monitor them they trap the male codlin moths which tells you it is the time to start using the Wally Super Neem Tree Oil spray on your apples etc.
If after a month you find no new male moths in the trap you can stop spraying as it is all over for the season. (That is unless you have Guava moths in your region).
Guava moth pheromone traps are a waste of time because they are all year round so there is no time to start or stop control sprays as with the Codlin Moth………..
Curly Leaf and Garlic Rust are also two concerns of many readers.
If you have either of these conditions currently my suggestion is to take a tablespoon of molasses dissolve in a litre of hot water and place in a trigger sprayer with 20 mils of Magic Botanic Liquid MBL (per litre) and spray the foliage of either plants. Repeat weekly.
The molasses can help save your crop by supplying energy that the leaves cannot create from sunlight because of the damage they suffer from the two diseases.
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Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay
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