Apple moth - how to deal with a pest?
Apple moth is also called apple moth. This is a recessed winged leaflet, or, as our grandmothers call it, a leaf swivel. Silver-white butterflies, small in size with the span of their fragile wings, are only two centimeters. The pest very successfully attacks fruit trees in most of the territory of our country. Typically, plants are affected so much that their normal development simply stops. The apple tree (if we are talking about it) immediately discards, if not all, then almost 90% of the ovary, and what’s most unpleasant is the generative buds, that is, those that should bloom and yield a crop next year. About methods of combating apple moth our article.
- What harms - butterfly or caterpillar?
- The danger of apple moth for trees
- Apple Moth Control Methods
What harms - butterfly or caterpillar?
Of course, the apple moth butterfly indirectly harms laying eggs, but it is the caterpillar, which, in addition to the apple trees, with pleasure, literally destroys the crop of henomeles (Japanese quince) and pear indirectly. The caterpillar has a yellow color and a pair of rows of dots black as resin. Her body reaches a length of just one and a half centimeters, and from the return cold it is protected by a completely reliable shield.
As soon as it gets warmer and the returning cold becomes the caterpillar of the apple moth, they are not terrible, it is cleverly freed from this shield and begins to “mine” the leaf blades. She actively absorbs the sheet mass, forming a kind of nest or braid from the web around the place of her dislocation. In this nest, as at home, the caterpillar of the apple moth feeds on the green mass, and as soon as it ends, it moves further and so leaf after leaf of hordes of caterpillars can destroy all green mass on these plants.
The most interesting thing is that one apple moth caterpillar feeds almost without interruption for forty consecutive days. Even a single caterpillar will leave a two-three-year-old apple tree without leaves during this time, and with a hundred caterpillars an absolutely grown tree.
Well-fed caterpillars pupate in their nests, then turn into butterflies of an apple moth, and only 10-12 days after conversion to a butterfly, they will be ready to make a new ovipositor, sometimes consisting of a record number of eggs - up to seven dozen.
To protect them from birds, they are coated with an adhesive mass, this is a special composition secreted exclusively by apple moth. In the future, if the caterpillars spawn, and there is nothing for them, then they will hide under this sticky mass and will wait there all winter. Usually a butterfly lays eggs on the bark of the thinnest tree branches.
The danger of apple moth for trees
It is great, a severe damage to plants occurs, which leads to the fact that the tree is completely bare and at the same time tangled with cobwebs. In this case, photosynthesis is completely excluded, there are no leaves, the root system is also actually suppressed.
Naturally, plants completely stop the absorption of carbon dioxide and the release of oxygen, lose up to 90% of their immunity and can easily freeze in the winter. Especially often those plants that the apple moth attacks in a row for several seasons freeze out, gradually weakening their immunity and eventually reducing it to virtually zero.
The stages of apple moth damage can be any. A pest can attack when a tree is still a young seedling, when it is a seedling, a large adult tree and even a mother plant in a nursery.
Important! Moth can easily travel vast distances, being in any container, whether it is a box of vegetables or fruits.
In general, apple moth is a very dangerous pest and must be combated.
Apple Moth Control Methods
Biological products and insecticides against apple moth
Let's start with a description of the treatment algorithm with biologics and insecticides. So, we take an apple tree as an example: usually these plants finish blooming closer to the middle of May (although, depending on what spring). During this period, the caterpillars of the apple moth are weakened as much as possible and can be exposed to literally any pesticides. Then you should not hesitate, you need to start a fight with them.
But before you “pour” the plants with chemistry, it is necessary to conduct an examination, and only if you find massive accumulations of apple moth caterpillars (very gluttonous, as we found out), then you can start processing.
Important! No spot processing! The plant must be exposed to the drug everything - without exception. If by some miracle the caterpillars survive, then they will immediately move from the treated tree to the neighboring one, untouched by chemistry.
But it is not even so difficult to destroy the insects themselves and their larvae as to destroy the ovipositor of the apple moth. Usually, for this, up to three treatments are carried out with drugs (including paraffin), such as, for example, Dimilin (but if the ovipositor is small, then you can limit yourself to a couple of treatments).
There are also biological compounds - this is Lepidocide, Iskra-bio, Bitoksibacillin. The drug "Entobacterin-3" was tested on the author's own experience. In a bucket of water, you need to dissolve 100 g of this drug and treat the infected plants as soon as the air warms up to 16-17 degrees above zero.
The undoubted advantage of biological preparations is that, as we know, they are completely safe in relation to people, and treatments can be carried out, in fact, an unlimited amount up to the complete destruction of the pest. In this case, this is quite important, because the period of death of the apple moth caterpillar is sometimes up to a week after processing. However, this is also a minus - not everyone has the patience to wait for the death of such a dangerous insect almost a week after treatment.
Therefore, especially impatient ones use permitted insecticides, but in strict accordance with the instructions on the package, such as Actellik, Kinmix, Inta-Vir, and others, and if the caterpillars of the apple moth just “mow down” the tree, you can "According to them," Phosphamide "and" Bazudin.
Also, with a massive defeat of a large number of trees, Fozalon is used. What is good Fozalon? It has a kind of more gentle effect on the green crown, and leaves no chemical marks from burns on the leaf blades. Organochlorine compounds can easily be replaced with this drug, and up to 75% of the apple moth caterpillars will be destroyed.
Important! A great misconception is the removal of arachnoid membranes before treatment with the drug. This shell does not interfere with the penetration of the drug into the nest of caterpillars of the apple moth, it serves only as a deterrent protection from predators who believe that a spider of solid size lives there, but it has no power against poisons.
Top dressings parallel to drug treatments
Simultaneously with treatments from apple moths or alternating treatments, it is possible and necessary to feed plants, giving them strength, and increasing immunity. Usually nitroammophoska is used, dissolved in water in the amount of a tablespoon per bucket, it is applied under each tree up to five years old by 2-3 liters and older than five years old - 5-6 liters, one bucket is enough for a couple of adult plants or four -five young.
If there is no nitroammophoska, then you can dilute one and a half tablespoons of urea in a bucket of water and treat the crown projection (leaves) with this solution, that is, carry out the so-called foliar top dressing. Immediately after this, the soil needs to be watered by pouring under a plant younger than five years old in a bucket of water, and under a more mature plant - two.
Attention! Change insecticides of even strong action as often as possible. The adaptation of an apple moth to a particular drug is not excluded and even the opposite effect is obtained - acceleration of reproduction.
Do not increase the dosage - just change the drug to another one, no less strong, again strictly observing the dosage and processing time. As for the butterflies of the apple moth, they usually do not get used to it, and they are destroyed by a single treatment during their flight. As for the tracks, sometimes it takes up to five or six treatments to completely exhaust them.
What if without chemistry?
Insecticides are undoubtedly effective, but no one has canceled their high toxicity. Take at least Actellic, they are allowed to carry out processing only once a year, this drug is so toxic. What to do? There is always a way out, for example, you can fight apple moth with the help of the so-called mechanical method. The method itself is simple, but it requires, of course, certain costs and efforts, and time.
To do this, take a scraper and walk through the garden to remove all shields planted with apple moth under which the ovipositor is securely hidden and burn them. This requires more time than effort.
Further, in early spring and September, apple moth caterpillars can be tried to wash off trees and leaves from a hose, creating the most powerful water pressure and simply crush it on the ground.
You can also collect (rather shear off) the entire affected foliage with caterpillars of the apple moth, which is possible of course on young, not tall trees or using stepladders and stairs if you have only one or two trees in the garden. It is effective in the period of the beginning of active flowering of the plant and upon completion of it. All collected material must be burned, and preferably outside the site in a small dug groove.
Sometimes it helps to cope with the apple moth by applying, during the opening of the kidneys, to the shoots and the central trunk of a dispersed solution of almost any of the mineral oils.
An effective method of struggle and using traps. Naturally, pheromone traps with a sticky base are placed on the site, on which butterflies stick (these are mainly male moths flying to the scent of supposedly females).
Ultraviolet light traps have a certain degree of efficiency. Moth actively flies into the light of such traps, and in front of the "flashlight" is the thinnest network, which is energized, which accumulates per day from the solar battery. A small discharge is enough to kill a butterfly of an apple moth of any gender.
If you do not want to spend extra money, then a trap such as bait can be done by yourself. To do this, you need moisture-proof cardboard and a piece of plywood. The board must be painted yellow - this is a signal for the butterfly, and then simply smear with glue for mice that does not dry. Butterflies of an apple moth fly at a signal, stick and die.
You can make or buy a hunting belt, they need to wrap a tree trunk, it’s better to take a sticky one, both a caterpillar and a gaping butterfly can stick to it.
Natural enemies of the apple moth
The apple moth also has natural enemies in the garden - these are mainly insects: tahini flies, braconid wasps - they parasitize moth caterpillars, that is, lay their eggs on them. But it is now almost impossible to find such "wonderful" parasites due to the use of insecticides in the garden.
The birds are also good enemies of the apple moth, for them it’s like a feast, but the birds are shy and quickly eat up enough. Therefore, in order to attract them to the garden and reassure, hang at least birdhouses, one hundred square meters, no more, otherwise there will be a struggle for territory.
Traditional methods of combating apple moth
We will choose the most effective folk measures to combat apple moths. So, hot pepper, right from the garden. Pods need to be cut into the smallest parts, wearing glasses and rubber gloves, then pour a liter of water and boil this explosive mixture for an hour. Next day, let it brew in a tightly closed container. After this, the resulting broth should be well filtered, trying not to get into their eyes and pour into any containers, but better glass, so that it can be seen what is inside. Next, these containers must be tightly closed and put in the refrigerator, gluing any scaring label (God forbid the child swallows, there will be a squeal ...).
To prepare a working solution, you need to take half a liter of pepper concentrate and add a half of a laundry soap as an adhesive. And with this wonderful tool to process plants.
The second option is shag, it must be infused in an amount of 100 g in a bucket of water for a week, stirring occasionally, and then treat the affected plants.
Look, go for it and try, maybe, indeed, folk remedies will be more effective than insecticides. And share your experience with us in the comments to the article.