What insect is doing this and how to control?

hollyvg77May 21, 2013

I am a novice at growing fruit trees and I have a problem. I have two plum trees that I planted 5 years ago. They were given to me by a friend of my mothers; they were shoots coming off of their trees. They have been very healthy, and I have done a good job pruning them early each spring. This is the first year they have produced fruit.

I have been finding a small insect on the trees, eating the leaves and the baby fruits. It looks like a large brown spotted ant. It eats holes in the leaves and makes small, irregular, crescent shaped brown pits in the fruit. A few days later, the fruit will ooze a soft clear liquid, I assume it's natural sugar.

I have applied a product to the ground around the trees, it was a type I had never seen or used before (my husband bought it). The instructions were to miz x ounces with i gal water and dump around roots, then a gal of clear water. It is supposed to absorb into the roots and protect the tree internally from aphids and leafhoppers. I also use Bonide brand orchard spray, which is labeled for plums. I have not had much luck with that, even though it seems very broad spectrum. I was so looking forward to our first plums and now it seems almost every fruit is damaged. I pick off the damaged fruit and throw it across the yard.

I also have a nectarine, peach, apple and cherry tree that I have no problems with yet. They look great and are fruiting well so far.
Can anyone help?

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franktank232(z5 WI)

The crescent shaped marks are Plum Curculio...one of the biggest (the biggest in my opinion) pests to hit plums... They also love:apples, apricots, peaches, sweet cherries, sour cherries... and so on ... You applied a neonicotinoid which does have curative action on PC egg laying (meaning the chemical gets into the fruit and kills the eggs)... The stuff works, but the only problem is that it tends to break down very slowly...one reason i shy away from it...plus it "may" be the cause of all the bees dying..or one of them.

Yes...pick the fruits, but i'd only throw them if they are very small..if they are the size of say a quarter, i'd be tossing them in the garbage... the eggs inside will hatch and feed on that discarded plum, the chew out the side and into the soil...

Plums are tough..you need to spray early and often... and then when they become ripe the bees show up and sting them!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 1:53PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Spray liquid Sevin on foliage for beetles.

BT for caterpillars worms.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 1:58PM
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franktank is right - clear away all that fallen fruit and get rid of it, or you'll have more curculios hatching. Any fruit that falls early should be suspected of harboring a larva. If a plum remains on the tree, the presence of the PC initiates early coloring and ripening.

Next year, start to spray right after petal fall.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 2:07PM
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OK, get rid of bad fruits, and spray with...sevin? Thanks!!!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Spray with 'Spectracide' Once and Done! Once a month. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 5:57PM
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Sevin and Spectracide/Triazicide Once and Done are both insecticide that can be sprayed on fruit trees. However, Sevin tends to cause fruit to drop. You may want to spray with Triazicide instead.

This spray can be used for all your fruit trees starting starting after petal fall.

It's always good to include your zone and your state. Different areas may have different insect problems of fruit trees. We more we know where you live, the better we could help.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 7:55PM
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Oh, Thank you, I am in southeast VA.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 9:47AM
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