Fruit Resources, Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management

Insects and Diseases

Identify your insect or disease problem, learn its biology, and discover management options.

This website provides complete production and pest management information for growing fruit commercially in Utah, Colorado, and Idaho.

Commercial Tree Fruit Production Guide

The Intermountain Commercial Tree Fruit Production guide contains pest management methods, IPM and monitoring tips, and recommendations for commercial fruit production in Utah, Colorado, and Idaho.

Backyard Fruit Production Guide

The Utah Home Orchard Pest Management guide outlines tried and true pest management practices for common fruit trees found in many backyards of Utah.

Invasive Fruit Guide

The Invasive Fruit Pest Guide for Utah identification, monitoring, and management tips for emerging pest issues, including spotted wing drosophila, brown marmorated stink bug, brown rot, and more.

Fruit Research Reports

These reports highlight tree fruit research in pest management from the USU Extension IPM team.

Insect Biofixes

Look up historic biofix dates for codling moth, peach twig borer, and greater peachtree borer. Dates can be found for over 20 cities in Utah, dating back to 2012 for Greater Peachtree Borer and to 2014 for Codling Moth and Peach Twig Borer.

Utah TRAPs

Utah TRAPs (Temperature Resource and Alerts for Pests) is a degree day calculator from the Utah Climate Center. Utah TRAPs can predict treatment timing for codling moth, peach twig borer, western cherry fruit fly, greater peach tree borer, San Jose scale, and fire blight.

Sustainable Orchard Management System

The Sustainable Orchard Management System for Intermountain Orchards is a resource guide that describes the importance of integrated pest management in orchards, and why it is helpful.

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BANANA – Pests & Diseases Management

Thrips can scar, stain, or deform banana fruits by feeding on the fruit skin. Thrips are small, winged insects that feed on banana flowers and/or the tender green skin of developing fruits. Thrips outbreaks can occur during periods of dry weather.

The following thrips species are important pests of Musa in the Pacific region:
Chaetanaphothrips signipennis (banana rust thrips): Feeding by rust thrips creates areas of reddish-brown “rust” that develop on the banana fruit, especially where two adjacent fingers touch; skin cracking can occur, leading to severe damage. The damage is caused by thrips feeding on young, developing green banana fruits.

  • Select taller varieties, which are less susceptible to choke, throat, eg Williams.
  • Choose a warm environment, one which is well protected from frosts and strong winds. Slopes facing the north and north west are usually warmer.
  • Control time of bunching to avoid cold weather prior to bunching. Plants bunching in the late spring to mid autumn are less affected.
  • Good on-farm drainage measures including mounding of rows.
  • Regular irrigation to avoid water stress particularly during hot-dry weather.
  • Higher nitrogen rates are thought to be beneficial.

What are the pest control methods for caterpillars ?

Wiki User
May 28, 2013 10:33AM

Caterpillars can eat holes in leaves but remember, every

caterpillar turns into a moth or butterfly and these can add much

beauty to our gardens. The best way to control excess numbers of

caterpillars is to be ever on the alert, and pick them off as soon

Dipel, which is called a bio-insecticide, is a well-established

method of reducing the population of leaf-eating caterpillars,

those renowned plant munchers. Dipel’s based on a bacteria that

enters into the stomach of the caterpillar. It works at its best if

the caterpillars are young when it’s applied.

Yates Success, too, is a caterpillar control that’s derived from

a natural soil organism. Because it enters into the leaf it

persists even through rainy periods and stands up well to sunlight.

Success is registered for control of a range of caterpillars that

Fruit Striped Moth — Pest Features and Control Methods

Chapter 19: Pest Control Tactics

Physical and Mechanical Control

Sometimes the most efficient way to kill insects is to stomp on them, literally or figuratively! &#160 Physical or mechanical control methods can be as simple as hand-picking the bagworms from a juniper bush, cutting tent caterpillars out of a shade tree, or using a fly swatter and window screens to keep your home free of flying insects. &#160 At the other end of the technology spectrum are the electronic bug killers. &#160 These high-tech fly swatters produce an ultraviolet glow that attracts flying insects to an untimely death on an electrified grid. &#160 Although bug zappers probably kill more beneficial insects than pests, their owners seem to sleep better at night with the reassuring sound of bugs sizzling on the grill. &#160 From its inception in the late 1970’s, the market for these devices has grown into an industry with annual sales approaching $100 million.

UV Bug Zapper

sticky trap
Simple entrapment devices work quite well to control some types of insects. &#160 Fly paper and sticky boards, for example, are often used in greenhouses to control whiteflies or leafhoppers. &#160 Fruit and shade trees can be protected from various pests (e.g., plum curculio, gypsy moth, and codling moth) by tying a band of folded burlap around the trunk with its open side facing down. &#160 As insects climb up the trunk, they are waylaid in the folds of burlap which can be treated with insecticide or inspected daily to collect the pests. &#160 Ditches or moats with steep vertical walls are occasionally used as barriers to keep crawling insects (e.g., chinch bugs or whitefringed beetles) from migrating out of one field and into another. &#160 Pitfall traps are dug at 3-5 meter intervals in the ditch and filled with kerosene or creosote to kill the pests.

In the 1930’s and 1940’s it was common practice for a farmer to hitch a bale of chicken wire behind a team of horses (or a tractor) and drive it through his fields to stir up dust. &#160 When the dust settled, it gave the insect pests an abrasive coating that gradually rubbed away their cuticular waxes and caused them to die from dehydration. &#160 Although this is certainly not the most reliable method of pest control, it does explain why crops planted near the edge of a well-travelled dirt road often have less insect injury than those on the opposite side of the same field.

Temperature extremes can be used to kill insects or prevent their injury. &#160 Cold storage of agricultural products prolongs their shelf life and retards the development of insect pests. &#160 Heat treatments are sometimes used in place of fumigation to kill insect larvae in certain types of produce. &#160 Mangoes, for example, are submersed in hot water baths (115&#176F for 68 minutes) to kill the eggs and larvae of fruit flies (Tephritidae) prior to export. &#160 In the 1950’s and 1960’s enterprising farmers in the Midwest built tractor-driven flame throwers that used liquid propane (LP gas) to ignite and burn off the stubble from corn fields in the hope that a variety of soil dwelling pests would be killed by the heat.

Unlike most of the other types of pest control discussed in this chapter, physical and mechanical tactics often become less practical (or less economical) when they are used on a large scale. &#160 Banding trees with burlap as protection against codling moth, for example, might be a reasonable approach for homeowners with five apple trees, but it would be far too time-consuming for commercial growers with 500 or 5000 trees.

How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes


In this Guideline:

How to Trap Earwigs (2:25)

Crop damaged by European earwig.

Earwig feeding damage on apricot.

A low-sided can sunk into the ground and filled with vegetable oil and a drop of fish oil makes a good earwig trap.

Earwigs are among the most readily recognized insect pests in home gardens. Although earwigs can devastate seedling vegetables or annual flowers and often seriously damage maturing soft fruit or corn silks, they also have a beneficial role in the landscape and have been shown to be important predators of aphids.

Although several species occur, the most common in California gardens is the European earwig, Forficula auricularia, which was accidentally introduced into North America from Europe in the early 1900s. The striped earwig, Labidura riparia, occurs in Southern California and can annoy residents when it is attracted to lights. It has a very disagreeable odor when crushed. However, the striped earwig doesn’t damage plants.


The adult earwig is readily identified by a pair of prominent appendages that resemble forceps at the tail end of its body. Used for defense, the forceps are somewhat curved in the male but straighter in the female. The adult body is about 3/4 inch long and reddish brown. Most species have wings under short, hard wing covers, but they seldom fly. Immature earwigs look like adults except they are smaller and lack wings.

Contrary to popular myth and despite their ferocious appearance, earwigs generally don’t attack humans, although they are capable of biting if trapped in clothing or sat upon.


Earwigs feed most actively at night and seek out dark, cool, moist places to hide during the day. Common hiding places are under loose clods of soil, boards, or dense growth of vines or weeds or even within fruit damaged by other pests such as snails, birds, or cutworms.

Female earwigs dig cells in the ground in the fall and winter where they lay masses of 30 or more eggs. Eggs hatch into small, light brown nymphs and remain in the cell protected and fed by their mother until their first molt. Second-instar nymphs may forage at night but still return to the nest during the day. Third- and fourth-instar nymphs are darker and forage on their own. Generally there is one generation a year, but females produce two broods.

Part of the earwig population hibernates during the winter as pairs buried in cells in the soil. In the hotter parts of California, earwigs may be relatively inactive during the summer. In milder California climates, some remain active all year.


European earwigs feed on a variety of dead and living organisms, including insects, mites, and growing shoots of plants. They are voracious feeders on soft-bodied insects such as aphids and insect eggs and can exert significant biological control under some circumstances. In yards that are planted to turf and contain mature ornamental plants, damage by earwigs is unlikely to be of concern.

European earwigs can cause substantial damage to seedling plants and soft fruit as well as to sweet corn. Damaged seedlings may be missing all or parts of their leaves and stem. Leaves on older plants, including fruit trees, have numerous irregular holes or are chewed around the edges. This damage may resemble that caused by caterpillars. Look for webbing, frass (excrement), or pupae that would indicate the presence of caterpillars.

Earwigs may attack soft fruit such as apricots, strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries but don’t harm hard fruit such as apples. On stone fruit, look for shallow gouges or holes that extend deeply into the fruit. On strawberries, distinguish earwig damage from that of snails and slugs by checking for the slime trails snails and slugs leave behind. On corn, earwigs feed on silks and prevent pollination, causing poor kernel development. Earwigs may also seriously damage flowers including zinnias, marigolds, and dahlias. To confirm that earwigs are causing the damage, go out at night with a flashlight to observe the pests in action.

Earwigs may seek refuge indoors when conditions outside are too dry, hot, or cold. Large accumulations of earwigs can be annoying but present no health hazards. Sweep or vacuum them up and seal entry points. Earwigs eventually die indoors because there is little for them to eat.


Management of earwigs requires an integrated program that takes advantage of their habitat preferences. As moisture-loving insects, earwigs wouldn’t normally thrive in California’s arid climate without the moisture and shade provided by irrigated gardens. Where earwigs are a problem, consider reducing hiding places and surface moisture levels. Initiate a regular trapping program. If these measures are followed, insecticide treatments shouldn’t be necessary. Baits are available for earwigs but often aren’t very effective. Keep in mind that earwigs are omnivores and are beneficial in some situations, such as when they feed on aphids, and don’t need to be managed in many situations.


A key element of an earwig management program is trapping. Place numerous traps throughout the yard, hiding the traps near shrubbery and ground cover plantings or against fences. A low-sided can, such as a cat food or tuna fish can, with 1/2 inch of oil in the bottom makes an excellent trap. Fish oil such as tuna fish oil is very attractive to earwigs, or vegetable oil with a drop of bacon grease can be used. These traps are most effective if sunk into the ground so the top of the can is at soil level. Dump captured earwigs and refill cans with oil.

Other common types of traps are a rolled-up newspaper, corrugated cardboard, bamboo tubes, or a short piece of hose. Place these traps on the soil near plants just before dark and shake accumulated earwigs out into a pail of soapy water in the morning. Earwigs can also be dropped into a sturdy plastic bag and crushed. Continue these procedures every day until you are no longer catching earwigs.

Sanitation and Other Controls

Complement the trapping program by removing refuge sites for earwigs, such as ivy, weeds, piles of rubbish, and leaves. Never allow heavy ground cover such as ivy to grow near vegetable gardens. Watch out for mulches; they often harbor earwigs. Natural enemies including toads, birds, and other predators may play an important role in some gardens. Chickens and ducks will consume many earwigs.

For fruit trees keep weeds, brush, and suckers away from the base of the trunk throughout the year, as this overgrowth provides refuge for earwigs. Monitor populations with folded newspapers or burlap bags placed at the base of trees. On the lower trunks of older fruit trees, carefully scrape off all loose bark. Trunks can be treated with Tanglefoot, a sticky substance that prevents earwigs from climbing up the trunks to reach ripening stone fruit. Also, keeping fruit trees properly pruned, thinning heavy crops, and picking fruit as soon as it ripens will help keep earwigs from becoming pests. Remember that earwigs can be beneficial in trees when they are feeding on aphids, so keeping them out isn’t always recommended unless the tree produces soft fruit.

Chemical Control

Where insecticides are desired, those containing spinosad (e.g., SluggoPlus baits or spinosad sprays) are the most effective, environmentally sound products. However, baits often aren’t very effective where there are other attractive food sources. Sprinkle baits around susceptible plants before they become infested or around the foundation of the house where earwigs may be entering. Dampening the bait after application may soften it and make it more attractive. Once earwigs are in susceptible plants or in fruit trees with ripening fruit, baits are unlikely to control the problem. Other more toxic insecticides are available, including carbaryl, but aren’t usually needed if the cultural practices above are followed.

For best effect and to protect bees, apply at night and before the infestation is severe, following all label directions and making sure the product is labeled for use around any plants that may be treated. Combine the use of insecticides with the trapping and sanitation procedures described above.

Inside the Home

Indoors, earwigs can be swept or vacuumed up; be sure to kill and dispose of them promptly so they won’t reinvade. If earwigs are a regular problem in a building, inspect the area to see how they are getting into the house and seal up cracks and entry points. Remove materials outside the perimeter of the building that could provide harborage, such as ivy growing up walls, ground cover, bark mulches, debris (especially leaves in gutters), wood piles, leaf litter, piles of newspapers, or other organic matter.

Also, keep water and moisture away from the structure by repairing drain spouts, grading the area so water drains away from the structure, and ventilating crawl spaces to minimize moisture. Insecticide treatments indoors aren’t recommended, since they will do little to prevent invasions. If earwigs are attracted to outdoor lighting, use yellow or sodium vapor lightbulbs, which are less attractive to these insects.


Flint, M. L. 1998. Pests of the Garden and Small Farm. 2nd ed. Oakland: Univ. Calif. Agric. Nat. Res. Publ. 3332.

Moore, W. S., C. S. Koehler, and P. Svihra. Aug. 1994. HortScript #7. Earwigs and Their Control. Univ. Calif. Coop. Ext. Marin County.


Pest Notes: Earwigs

UC ANR Publication 74102

Author: M. L. Flint

Produced by UC Statewide IPM Program, University of California, Davis, CA 95616

Produced by University of California Statewide IPM Program

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2019 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Organic methods to control codling moth

Not what we want to eat

Bugs are a part of nature. I come in peace, but when they invade an entire apple crop, its time to declare war.

Words: Sheryn Clothier

I run my orchard as closely aligned with nature as possible. That means I use very, very few sprays (even organic ones) as I believe in allowing the natural balance to assert itself. If my fruit aren’t all perfect, so be it, as long as there are enough.

This practice works well in theory. The problem is fruit trees aren’t in New Zealand’s natural balance. They are relative newcomers to our ecosystem and all their pests and diseases that have come in with them are relative newbies too. This means they may not have natural predators here.

Codling moth (Cydia pomonella) is one such pest. It infests all pipfruit (apples, pears, quince, crabapples, nashi) and walnuts. The caterpillar feeds for three weeks inside the fruit. Signs are an infected core and access hole ringed with brown frass (residue from chewing or excrement).

There are several organic methods to control codling numbers in your orchard. Unfortunately, some commonly-known ones are not particularly effective and all the methods target different stages of the life cycle so it is important to be doing the right one at the right time of year.

Cardboard wraps are limited in their effectiveness


During winter the pupae spin a silken cocoon in a crevice or under bark and await temperatures of 15°C.

Clean up all fallen fruit and litter from under the trees. You don’t want any hidden habitats they can overwinter in.

Having chickens running under the trees may seem a solution, but carabid beetles and disease will kill any codling on the ground. Those who have trees both in and outside their chicken pen say there is no difference in the codling levels.

One remedy is to wrap the tree trunk in corrugated cardboard. The theory is that the caterpillar will find it an attractive hidey hole and spin their cocoon in there. You can then remove and burn it before they hatch in spring.

The problem is there are lots of places further up the branches they can choose to hibernate and there can be several generations a year.

To be most effective, place the cardboard as high up the trunk as possible (but below any fruit), grease or make a sticky band below the cardboard to stop them passing on by, and remove and burn frequently from early summer to after harvest. Even then, you will only get a proportion of the codling cocoons.

Cydia pomonella larva Photo: Peggy Gregg


This is the start of their active life cycle. Once the blossoms start showing a pink colour, the pupa develops the features of an adult moth and emerges late in spring (about petal fall). Adults will continue to emerge for several weeks and are most active on warm evenings.

They will mate and the female will singularly lay tiny eggs (about 1mm long) on or near developing fruit. These eggs take 8-14 days to hatch into tiny larvae which then crawl inside the fruit. This period is the most effective time to attack.

Pheromone traps are commonly available at garden centres or hardware stores. They have a lure, a sticky trap base and a triangular cover to hang in the tree. These use the female mating scent to attract males.

To use them as a form of control is like putting a pub on the corner and hoping it will stop teenage pregnancies. Males can mate many times and a mated female can lay as many as 200 eggs. You would have to trap every male as a virgin to be effective.

However the traps are a useful way to monitor when the moths are active (so you can spray). They are only effective if the sticky base is sticky and dust can quickly coat them. Fold them in half and then re-open to restore the sticky tendrils and extend their effectiveness.

Organic pheromone mating dispensers are a twist tie that you slip over a branch at the beginning of the season. When applied at 100 to the hectare, they release the female scent to such a degree it confuses the male and prevents mating. Moth numbers should fall in the sticky base trap if they are working effectively.

However, these are not easy to source, and although well regarded, I tried them for two years running with little noticeable effect. However, I had three closely-planted apple trees that are badly infected, and these are apparently more effective when used with low density of codling spread over a wide area/larger orchard.

See method under summer strategies.

Neem oil, conqueror oil or any oil spray will smother and kill the eggs. To be effective, this must be repeated at eight day intervals until your traps show the adults have stopped flying and laying, and full cover of the eggs must be achieved – spray under and over.

I presume the oils will also kill every other living being on your tree while you are at it so this is not a strategy I practice.

This needs to be done at approximately 80% petal fall, and needs to be repeated for success.

You can use any spray at this stage that is effective against caterpillars. Be aware that organic pyrethrum sprays and homemade garlic sprays will also affect beneficial insects, including your pollinating bees.

There are two organic sprays which are more specific, available at garden centres. You can get a sachet of Kiwicare’s organic caterpillar biocontrol. It does not list the codling as a target (it is aimed at white butterfly, leaf rollers, looper and other caterpillars) but the Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) it contains is also very effective against the codling caterpillar.

The other is available through horticultural supply stores and is branded as Madex-3. This contains the Cydia pomonella granulises virus which is specific to the codling moth. It comes in 100ml to mix in 2000 litres to do a hectare and costs around $125 so is only economical for those with larger orchards, or you could band together with friends to purchase a bottle.

Spray 10 days after the monitoring traps start trapping moths, and again every 10 days until 10 days after the traps are no longer catching anything. In my climate, this equals 2-3 times at 10-day intervals from approximately 80% petal fall.

Once the caterpillar is inside the fruit it is protected from sprays.


The caterpillar will spend about three weeks gorging itself on the flesh of your apple, before emerging to seek a hidey hole to make its cocoon (see Winter). North of Auckland, they commonly hatch a second generation about November and theoretically they can have more generations in one year depending on the temperatures. Further south, the records show it to be more a single long stretch of activity.

Use traps to monitor and spray larvae 10 days after peak periods, and/or to catch adult moths.

Once the caterpillar is inside the fruit, it is protected from any spray you useSTRATEGY: TRAP ADULT MOTHS
Moth traps can be used to significantly reduce numbers. While these have proven somewhat successful for me in the past, they were not effective enough in themselves for adequate control and there is no way to ensure you catch the female before she has laid her eggs.

However, gardeners I know have found them to be very effective, almost totally eradicating codling within three years, and they swear by them. I found all these options equally effective.

You need to put them out by mid-blossom and maintain them until after harvest in March to catch as many moths as possible. You can note the fluctuations in numbers and use these as indicator traps (spray for larvae 10 days after peak periods) as well. You will need to clean and replenish them frequently.

A sophisticated light trap using a light under a lamp shade, over a dish of water

Moths are attracted to light. Any light or solar light seems to work, although LED blue/white lights are said to be better than yellow-hued lights.

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