You’ve waited weeks, watching as the fruit grew and ripened. Finally, it’s time to pick some delicious fresh fruit, but the first piece you grab is crawling with bugs.
No one wants to be in that situation. So, how do you protect fruit trees from bugs? For some, pesticides are the go-to resource for keeping crops free of pests, but it’s always better to use natural methods when possible.
Natural Ways to Prevent Fruit Tree Pests
There are many natural methods to prevent fruit trees from bug infestations. Some of the most cost-effective and easiest ways are pest barricades, sticky traps, and bagging. It might take a little upfront effort, but these are some of the safest ways to protect your fruit trees from bug infestations.
Copper Band Barricades
Barricades work by putting copper bands around the trunks of your fruit trees. It might sound crazy, but the copper bands have a small electrical charge. That charge is just enough that pests like snails, slugs, and other insects are deterred from taking residence in your trees.
Sticky traps work much as they sound, trapping bugs and other pests before they can get to the fruit you’re trying to protect. Tanglefoot is one of the most cost-effective options and works by painting it on the trunk of the tree. It might look a little strange at first, but the fresh fruit you’ll enjoy makes it worth the effort.
Another option to prevent pests is bagging. The process involves sealing the immature fruits in paper bags and removing the bags a few weeks before harvesting. The best time to fix the bags is immediately after the tree starts to drop young fruit.
Another key to keeping fruit trees healthy and free of pests is to prune branches to prevent them from crossing between trees. Don’t keep any fruit that doesn’t develop, and don’t leave dropped fruit on the ground. You can use wire mesh trunk guards to help protect the tree from bad fruit that’s more likely to be infested with bugs.
Spraying Your Fruit Trees with Natural Pesticides
Sometimes, the tricks above aren’t enough to stop the worst pest infestations. It might be tempting at this point to turn to chemical pesticides. But chemicals can end up killing beneficial insects like lacewings, praying mantises, and ladybird beetles. It can also leave harmful residue on the fruit.
However, there are still some effective natural pesticide alternatives on the market that you should try first. Most of these natural herbicides consist of essential oils that deter bugs. Others are made of microbial agents. If these all fail, the last resort for many is to turn to chemical pesticides.
Let Us Help You Protect Your Fruit Trees from Bugs
Apple trees are prone to pests like the codling moth and apple maggots. Apple worms are also commonly found in European plum trees as well as the cherry tree. If these pests manage to break through barrier or sticky trap methods, herbal pesticides may do the trick. But if they don’t, you’re not out of options yet.
If you’re unsure about how to protect fruit trees from bugs, tree health services by Urban Jacks are here to help you figure it out. Call us today to talk to one of our tree experts about how you can prevent fruit tree pests from invading your orchard or yard.