Author Topic: Apple Maggots  (Read 1606 times)

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Offline Old Philosopher

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Apple Maggots
« on: April 23, 2012, 09:18:39 PM »
Nasty little vermin that are the bane of any apple grower!

I learned of this trick about 20 years ago, but never had any apple trees on which to test it.
We have two winesap apple trees now. We have been plagued with up to 30% losses of our apples to worms. We don't like to spray with chemicals, so we just shared with the worms. When I started making wine/cider a couple years ago, I decided I didn't want worm guts in my pressed apples.  So last year I finally rifled through my memory banks and decided to try this trick.

You can use any round red thing. First year I used red rubber balls. The perfect thing would be those life-sized red apple Christmas tree ornaments.  Since I still have some winesaps in storage from last fall, I decided to use actual apples.

Obviously, a Christmas ornament will already have a hanger on it. If you have to make your own, cut a length of wire long enough to poke all the way through the ball.  Twist a small loop at one end, and bend it at right angles to the length of the wire. This is a stop so the ball/apple won't slide off.  Twist another loop in the other end of the wire so you can attach a longer wire, or string with which to hang the trap.

The product you want is called "Tanglefoot". Any nurseryman will know what you're talking about. It's the consistency of axle grease.  Use a disposable tool (popsicle stick, scrap of wood, etc.) to spread the Tanglefoot all over the ball/apple. I would suggest wearing disposable gloves, also. This crap is not something you want on your hands!

When you're done, hang the ball/apple/ornament in your apple tree. I had only 2 traps in each tree, and our infestation was reduced from 30% to about 2%!  The stupid bugs land on the traps and never get a chance to get established on the trees.

NOW is the time to get them in place, before the trees even start to bloom.

I only do what the voices in my wife's head tell her to tell me to do.

Offline wolfy

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Re: Apple Maggots
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2012, 09:28:37 PM »
REALLY?   That is great news.  Our old apple orchard is toast and all we have left is an old scraggly crabapple tree left, but I'm going to give your trick a whirl as an experiment before I plant any more.  I'm going with dwarf varieties this time.  How come winesaps are getting so hard to find, anymore?  They used to be quite common and I like 'em, too.

Fake apples can be found at wallyworld and craft and hobby shops, also.   
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Apple Maggots
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2012, 09:41:42 PM »
Nothing better than crab apple jelly! Yummmm! Granny Smith is about the only thing close to their tart flavor.

Winesaps? Hummm...  Our trees are 40-50 years old. The winesap is very hardy in cold climates, and one of the best storing apples there is. I still have a bag of apple that were picked last October, and have been in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator. They are slightly shriveled, but still 'snap' when you bite into one.
I wasn't aware they were getting scarce. That's too bad.
I only do what the voices in my wife's head tell her to tell me to do.