Winter moth prevention
Amateur Gardening|October 02, 2021
Ruth shows you how to avoid maggoty tree fruits
Ruth Hayes

THERE is a well-worn and ancient joke that goes ‘What’s even worse than biting into an apple and discovering a maggot?’

The answer, of course, is ‘Half a maggot’, and early autumn is the time to be taking steps to ensure that fate doesn’t befall you next summer.

I found a little pink grub surrounded by lots of mess, or frass, in a greengage that I mercifully cut in half before eating.

This was a larvae of a plum moth and these are prevented in May by setting pheromone traps around your trees.

But there are several other moths, including the winter, burnt umber and March moth, that lay their eggs between November and May. The wingless females crawl up the trunks to lay their eggs on the branches, and the caterpillars emerge in spring.

These voracious grubs attack apple, plum, pear and cherry trees, chewing leaves, blossom and fruits and severely damaging and weakening trees.

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