Less curc activity this year

Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)May 9, 2013

I just sprayed my first Surround spray on my apples yesterday, and I only found one apple with a curc bite on it in my whole orchard. I have many pea-sized fruits and often at this stage I find some localized spots with a lot of damage. I had to delay the spray because it has been raining a lot but it looks like it may not have harmed anything.

What I am wondering is if the colder and longer winter is the reason, or the cool spring we have been having here. The curc is much happier in warm weather, he is buzzing with activity on warm spring nights. I did get a fair amount of hits on a few apricots in an early heat wave we had and this makes me think its more the cool nights have slowed him down.


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Scott, that is great news. I am envious of your 'pea' sized fruit. As my apple blossoms are just beginning to open. Only plums and cherries are out. No sign of fruit, still in blossom. Less insects, less spray.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 12:15PM
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alan haigh

Usually here they come round at first heat wave (above 75 or so) after apple petal fall.

I can't see how anything happening this winter could have hurt them- probably needs to be like -25 to get on their nerves. You need to go to Z4 to avoid them in the east. I suspect the strange weather throws many insects off their game- we shall see.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 12:40PM
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I used to follow a pest chart that seemed to be based on apple data. While the chart said there should be no curc activity, the little buggers were ruining my cots, newly out of their split shucks.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 1:43PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I wonder how they figure out whats "ripe" for egg laying.. they seem to be very good at being on the tree with the fruit they are after when it is ready, always starting out on the cots of course. I had exactly one cluster of asian pears get nailed, only because they were nearly touching my cots on the next tree. The other pears they had not moved on to (yet).


    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 3:51PM
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With stone fruit, I figure shuck split is the best time for the first spray, rather than petal fall. Agreed?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 5:23PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Scott, In the past, when you were bagging stonefruit, how big did you let the fruit get before putting on the bag? My peaches are just done flowering, but I've got some apricots which I think may be ready. The Tomcot in the pic below is the furthest ahead. Should I also thin that cluster of 4 down to 2? This is a 2nd leaf tree which came from Raintree last spring. There are only 6 fruit total on the tree, but I'll be happy to get any this year.

I also have Montrose and Hargrande (both also in 2nd leaf) in pots which are maybe a week or two behind.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 5:24PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I don't think you can be too early with spraying for PC... As long as the bees are done and out of the area, go time...i'd much rather be too early then too late.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 5:39PM
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PC is alive and well in SC. They've been hitting my plums with regularity, even with spraying, but for some reason they're ignoring everything else.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 6:09PM
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My apples just opened. If I waited for petalfall on them, I'd have curcs all over my stone fruit, specially the cots.

I spray =very carefully=

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 6:10PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I never sprayed my sweet cherries last year and had very minimal damage...but i lost every plum to PC. They also just tore apart my apple crop.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 6:23PM
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My apple and peach are the two that have been damaged by PC (and other bugs). I usually have to spray peach at least once before they are big enough to put footsies on. For apple, most of the times I bag them in time without spraying.

I saw crescent moon shape on a number of Asian pears 2 yrs ago. I cut them up. No damage. Their skin may be too tough to PC to do much damage. No damage on cherries, either.

I hope Scott is right about longer colder months could suppress PC. We had very cold March and colder than usual April. Hopefully, that count for something.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 8:42PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Bob, I would bag stone fruit after the shucks fell. But I was putting down Surround, I was bagging mainly for the moths. If you wanted to bag for curc then petal fall would probably be the time.

Frank, I agree its never too early for hitting the curc. I am usually on the late side. This year I was early for my stone fruits for a change, and I had very little damage. I haven't found a single damaged plum, only damaged cots and they were at the ripe PC stage during the heat wave. When fruits get bigger PC lose interest except for feeding bites. They need to get their baby worm going early enough so it can eat the seed before the shell hardens and locks it out.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:04PM
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