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How can I control caterpillars that are eating the fruit on my plum tree?
Posted by Suttons Staff on 27 November 2014 01:14 PM

Plum moth caterpillars attack plums, damsons and gages. Plum moths can emerge from late May but it is usually from mid-June to mid-July. There is normally a single generation but two generations may occur in hot summers.

The newly hatched caterpillars tunnel into the fruit where they feed around the stone until late summer. The pinkish white caterpillars have a brown head are up to 12mm in length. The fruit ripen prematurely and may have a sunken area on the surface where the caterpillar has eaten its way out. Affected fruit should be removed and destroyed before the caterpillars leave to hibernate under loose flakes of bark.

The newly hatched caterpillars must be controlled before they enter the fruit. Due to weather conditions in some years the eggs may hatch earlier or later. The use of Pheromone Traps which attract the male moths will help to identify when to apply insecticides. On small trees the caterpillars can be controlled by spraying with Bayer Sprayday Greenfly Killer or Westland Resolva Bug Killer.

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