It is not easy to grow fruit trees organically: the insects that can damage the crop, including moths and fruit flies are very numerous.
It is therefore necessary to think about effective and ecological defense strategies. Insecticides cannot be the only solution because they have a number of contraindications: they have times of shortage (cannot be used near the crop) they also often kill beneficial insects like bees (they cannot be used in the flowering phase).
An excellent alternative strategy to safeguard fruit plants it is that of food traps, which we have already spoken extensively about. It is worth knowing how to use them and which pests they can protect our crops from.
Traps in the orchard
If in the garden the crops are in the field for a relatively short period, in the orchard we have perennial species, which can be particularly attractive for the establishment of colonies of harmful parasites.
For this reason, installing devices such as Tap Trap bio traps capable of capturing harmful insects is particularly useful.
The trap can have a monitoring value but also of mass capture, in particular if it is placed during the first flights and is therefore able to intercept the first generation of insects.
Types of trap
There are three types of trap:
- The adhesive or glue chromotropic traps (attraction based solely on color), which attract a wide range of insect species, are not selective and often capture beneficial insects.
- Pheromone traps (sexual attractiveness), which are specific to a species, so it is a highly selective method. The disadvantage is generally the cost of the attractant, which is made in the laboratory.
- Food traps (food attractiveness), which attract a certain type of insects, united by the same diet and are therefore quite selective. The advantage is that the bait can be self-produced at low cost with simple cooking ingredients. Not all insects can be caught with food traps, but for some categories such as moths there are really effective baits.
Insects harmful to the orchard
The potential pests of fruit plants are many, some specific to a species, others polyphagous. There are thensects that spoil the fruit, ovifying inside and generating larvae that dig out the pulp, for example the apple tree. others damage other parts of the plant (leaves, shoots, stem), from wood to leaf miners.
To the indigenous parasites of our country unfortunately various exotic species are added, unwisely imported from other ecosystems, such as popillia japonica and drosophila suzukii.
Let's find out which insects can be countered with the Tap Trap or Vaso Trap food traps, and the recipes of the relative baits.
Traps made in this way should be placed at the beginning of the season (in spring), in order to catch insects from the first flights and intercept the first generation.
Lepidoptera harmful to the orchard
Here are the main lepidoptera that can affect fruit plants:
- Lepidoptera characteristic of the pome fruit: Carpocapsa (cydia pomonella), Cemiostoma of the apple tree (leucoptera malifoliella), Hyponome of the apple tree (hyponomeuta malinellus), Sesia del melo (synanthedon myopaeformis).
- Stone fruit moths: Peach moth (anarsia lineatella), Plum moth (cydia funebrana), Eastern moth (cydia molesta).
- Lepidoptera of the olive tree: European borer or olive margaronia (palpita unionalis), Olive moth (prays olea).
- Lepidoptera of the vine: Vine moth (eupoecilia ambiguella), Vine moth (lobersia botrana), Zigena della vite (theresimima ampelophaga).
- Citrus Lepidoptera: Serpentine Miner (phyllocnistis citrella), Citrus moth (prays citri).
- Polyphagous Lepidoptera: American ifantria (hyphantria cunea), Nottue (agrotis and various species), Corn borer (Ostrinia Nubilalis), Leaf embroiderers (various species: tortrici, eulia, capua, cacecia, ...) Yellow hairpin (zeuzera pyrina), Red hairpin (cossus cossus).
Recipe for moth bait: 1 liter of wine, 6 tablespoons of sugar, 15 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick.
- Mediterranean fruit fly (ceratitis capitata)
- Cherry fly (rhagoletis cerasthe)
- Olive fly (bactrocera oleae)
- Nut fly (complete rhagoletis)
Recipe of bait for fruit flies: liquid ammonia and raw fish waste.
Small fruit fly (drosophila suzukii)
Drosophila suzukii is a parasite of oriental origin that particularly affects small fruits, but also various stone fruit plants such as plum, cherry, peach, apricot.
For this kind of insects it is good to use a specific trap, which has in addition to the lure the attractiveness of the red color: Tap Trap and Vaso Trap are produced in the red version, calibrated specifically for this insect.
Bait recipe for drosophila: 250 ml apple cider vinegar, 100 ml red wine, 1 tablespoon of sugar.