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  • Apple "maggots" and "worms"

    How badly affected by "maggots" and "worms" are your apples?


    If you have any info, please state:

    Location (e.g. Essex, Devon etc)

    Apple variety (e.g. Cox's, Bramley etc)

    Estimated age of the tree

    Approximate quantity of fruit produced per year (e.g. a handful, a bucket full, a barrel full)

    Proportion of fruit damaged (e.g. a quarter, two thirds etc)

    Whether you use "pheromone" traps.

    Whether you use other sprays, or methods of pest control.

    ...............

    Thanks,
    .

  • #2
    I'm in Englefield Green near Windsor and have a large old (60+ years) cooking apple tree in my garden (not sure what, it's similar to a Bramley) that produces a barrel size crop. I'd say that over 75% of the fruit suffers from codling moth maggot damage but as there is so much I can pick and choose the best apples so I don't bother to take any action.
    I have just planted a Red Windsor tree at the other end of the garden so I'll see how that is affected when it gets large enough to produce fruit in a year or two.
    I have 16 cordons down at my allotment plot which are attacked by some kind of maggot which nibbles the leaves and then seals itself in rolled up leaves in spring but they are dealt with manually be me..
    I had more trouble with the local yobboes stealing the apples last year, the newly acquired roll of razor wire should put paid to that particular pest..

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply.

      Blackberries/brambles are also a useful, productive, anti-vandal screen.
      I keep a small stock of "Bedford Giant" blackberries (can you guess why it was so named? ) for precisely that reason.
      .

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      • #4
        No maggot damage to apples in Glasgow. I suspect that Scotland is free of such pests at the moment.

        Comment


        • #5
          It was always my understanding that whole maggots were not a problem. Only if you had a half maggot in a part eaten apple did it matter .

          Excuse my attempt at levity. I know it must be really annoying to lose a good crop to the little blighters

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Aberdeenplotter View Post
            It was always my understanding that whole maggots were not a problem. Only if you had a half maggot in a part eaten apple did it matter .

            Excuse my attempt at levity. I know it must be really annoying to lose a good crop to the little blighters
            An oldie but a goodie:

            Q.
            What's worse than finding a maggot in your apple?

            A.
            Finding half a maggot!

            .
            .

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Aberdeenplotter View Post
              I know it must be really annoying to lose a good crop to the little blighters
              Yes, on a more serious note........

              I've definitely found that certain varieties are much more prone than others.
              There seem to be several things that may increase the chance of maggots/worms being attracted to the apples.
              I didn't want to put thoughts into people's minds and influence any responses, so I deliberately said nothing about my own experiences.

              I once posted some pictures on how I salvage a lot of good flesh from maggot-ridden apples.

              But since there aren't many people stepping forward with their own observations, I may as well add mine (which I probably mentioned before on other topics).............

              .............................

              Things that - in my experience - seem to increase the risk of maggot damage:

              Early-mid season ripening (August-September).
              Eating apples.
              Strongly scented.
              Bright red coloured.
              Tender flesh.
              Large apples.
              On the sunnier parts of the tree.
              Thin skin.
              A tree growing on its own leaves the maggots no choice of variety to attack.

              In my experience:
              Very susceptible: Scrumptious, Ellison's Orange.
              Quite susceptible: Discovery.

              ................................

              Things that - in my experience - seem to reduce the risk of maggot damage:

              Very late ripening apples.
              Cooking apples.
              No scent.
              Green colour, russeted or otherwise dull colour.
              Tough flesh.
              Small fruits.
              On the shady side of the tree.
              Thick skin.

              Where multiple varieties are planted, the maggots will tend to mostly attack just one or two varieties, leaving the remainder relatively untouched. I guess you could call it "companion planting".

              In my experience:
              Notably resistant varieties (in the presence of a susceptible tree as a "decoy"):
              Annie Elizabeth, Bountiful, Crawley Beauty, D'Arcy Spice, Egremont Russet, Fiesta (Red Pippin), Grenadier, Howgate Wonder, James Grieve, Reverend Wilks, Spartan.
              Last edited by FB.; 04-02-2011, 10:33 PM.
              .

              Comment


              • #8
                FB,

                I only have a couple of cookers in my allotment which have been there a couple of years so the trees are far from mature. However, if I ever decide to expand on the number of trees I have, I'll be sure to come back to your post. The information given there looks to be so comprehensively informative and useful.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I had been hoping that other members might have similar "suspicions" to my own - or otherwise useful comments on which varieties give them the most (or least) problems.
                  .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have Elisons Orange and Laxtons Fortune (about 40 years old) both of which get a lot of maggots. The smaller younger Cox Orange Pipin does not suffer as much.

                    i would be suprised if apple colour or smell had much to do with infestation as the coddling moths are active and laying eggs towards the end of the flowering period before the fruit has developed.

                    I also have plums which suffer severely with plum moth caterpillars.

                    As a means of control I now hang up jam jar traps with a homemade attractant. This considerably reduces the amount of infection and negates the (unjustifiable) expense of commercial pherormone traps.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rana View Post
                      i would be suprised if apple colour or smell had much to do with infestation as the coddling moths are active and laying eggs towards the end of the flowering period before the fruit has developed.
                      Thanks for the reply.

                      Quite a lot of insects use their antennae as detectors for traces of plant scents in the air - this allows them to home-in on a potential food source from a long distance away. That's why codling can be attracted to a cider trap or the pheromone traps.
                      Codling eggs are laid on the leaves, so the maggots must have some way of "homing-in" on their food source.
                      The more-colored/sunny side of fruit definitely seems more scented and the more coloured part seems to be a common entry point (as does the contact point between two fruits).

                      I think that in some cases - such as carrot fly - "companion planting" of things like chives or marigolds apparently fills the air with pungent chemicals that "mask" the faint scent of what you're trying to protect.
                      .

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I didn't post because I don't know the variety of trees I have, they were here a long time before I moved in. But:

                        Tree 1
                        In an orchard area with a few pear trees, plums and a walnut. Originally there were two apples there but one uprooted itself last year
                        Cooker - cooks to a pulp
                        Pale green, thin skin
                        Very large fruit
                        Ripens mid Sept
                        Yield about 6 wheel barrows full
                        About half the fruit has damage (south facing side)

                        Tree 2
                        On its own in a dark spot!
                        Eating
                        Rosy skin
                        Very,very small fruit
                        Ripen really early - around July
                        Yield - about 3 wheel barrows full
                        No damage

                        I dont use any sprays, or methods of pest control

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Scarlet View Post
                          I didn't post because I don't know the variety of trees I have, they were here a long time before I moved in. But:

                          Tree 1
                          In an orchard area with a few pear trees, plums and a walnut. Originally there were two apples there but one uprooted itself last year
                          Cooker - cooks to a pulp
                          Pale green, thin skin
                          Very large fruit
                          Ripens mid Sept
                          Yield about 6 wheel barrows full
                          About half the fruit has damage (south facing side)

                          Tree 2
                          On its own in a dark spot!
                          Eating
                          Rosy skin
                          Very,very small fruit
                          Ripen really early - around July
                          Yield - about 3 wheel barrows full
                          No damage
                          I dont use any sprays, or methods of pest control
                          Thanks, Scarlet.

                          The red-highlighted bits seem to match with my findings.

                          .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FB. View Post
                            Codling eggs are laid on the leaves, so the maggots must have some way of "homing-in" on their food source.
                            The more-colored/sunny side of fruit definitely seems more scented and the more coloured part seems to be a common entry point (as does the contact point between two fruits).
                            FB

                            I am certain that you are right that scent plays an important role in attracting maggots. What I am interested in is how you determine the entry point of the maggot into the young fruit.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In most cases, the entry hole - only a few millimetres across - is surrounded by a darker-colouration of the apple skin. There may also be some sawdust-like excrement pushed out of the hole.
                              The point where two apples touch is quite a common entry point and one maggot will often tunnel through an entire cluster of fruits.
                              Maggots will also enter through the bottom of the apple. These are almost impossible to detect until you bite/cut the apple.

                              Maggot-damaged fruit often drops early, or ripens early. Be especially careful of "windfalls" and the first fruit to ripen.

                              The following topic showed me dissecting a maggot-damaged Discovery apple, although it was intended to show how to salvage as much as possible:
                              > Link <

                              .
                              Last edited by FB.; 12-02-2011, 08:34 AM.
                              .

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