trap crops?

cousinfloydMay 11, 2013

Is there any potential for trap crops with insect pests like plum curc, OFM...? In other words, are there tree fruits that are highly attractive to insects that I could grow just to draw insect pests away from other trees and then sacrifice the more attractive fruits to eliminate the next generation of insect pests? Is this kind of tactic employed by anyone on any scale with tree fruits?

A lot of my tree fruits are just getting mature enough to begin fruiting, so I've got a lot to learn yet about insect pests, but I'm seeing a lot of signs of plum curculio this year and I had some kind of worm (OFM?) in a significant portion of my Asian pears last year. I have a strong preference for homegrown (as opposed to purchased and especially non-organic) solutions, even to the extent that I'm willing to give up on a lot of the particular fruits I have growing now if they're going to completely depend on purchased insect/disease controls, but I definitely want to learn about any options for reasonable cultural controls, even if they're not a complete solution.

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Wouldn't planting those trees/crops draw even more nasty insects to the site? The best example I can think of if 'Bag-a-Bug' from the 80's that only brought in hoards of Japanese beetles.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:19PM
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I like the way you think, cousinfloyd! There is some info out there on using trap crops for curculio. Follow the links for some great recommendations. The idea, which is brilliant, is to push the insects away from your good trees with surround, then pull the insects to the trap tree(s) where you wage an organic pesticide battle with them there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic management of plum curculio

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 2:28PM
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