A number of insects can damage pear trees. These insects can range from beetle to worm to the nearly microscopic aphids. Several insecticides and other sprays are available to kill the annoying insects. In addition, these sprays are safe to use on fruit that you plan to eat.
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Pear trees can attract a variety of different insects. The larger insects they attract mainly take the form of worms or larvae. One of the most common insects that damage pears is the coddling moth (Cydia pomonella). In its larvae stage, this insect does a great deal of damage to the fruit of the pear itself as it digs and tunnels through it. The apple maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella) is another common problem for pear trees. The damage done by an apple maggot is much the same as that done by the coddling moth making it difficult for the novice gardener to tell the difference between the two.
Smaller bugs can also plague pear trees. These insects are numerous and range from spider mites to scale and aphids. Usually the damage caused by these insects is located on the stem or leaf of the pear tree. However, the damage caused by these insects can affect the fruit itself by removing vital nutrients from the tree.
Many insecticides available today deal with common insect problems on pear trees. Some insecticides are insect specific. For example if you have cherry fruit flies that are damaging your pears, you will want to use rotenone whereas if you have coddling moth larvae you will want to spray with BT. However, there are also all-purpose insecticidal sprays. Sevin is a very popular brand of insecticide that treats a number of insect problems that pears suffer from. Additionally, many insecticide companies will also have their own variety of all-purpose fruit tree sprays that are equally effective if used properly. As a note, remember that insecticides should never be sprayed while the pear is in bloom because doing so may kill bees that are busy pollinating.
Some gardeners and landscapers prefer a more natural spray to deal with insects. One of the most commonly used sprays is an oil-water solution that effectively smothers the insects. Although homemade oil sprays are easy to make, the most effective sprays are those made with horticultural or dormant oil made specifically for the purpose. Other sprays may involve soap or detergent solutions but will essentially work the same way.
Careful care and management of your pear tree is also a key ingredient in helping insecticides be the most effective and preventing reoccurring outbreaks. Thinning the fruit on the tree is a common practice among pear growers that serves two purposes: to enlarge the fruit left behind and to prevent larvae infestations. Keep in mind that natural predators are a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional sprays. If you have aphids, try grabbing a case of ladybirds at your local garden centre.
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