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Apple blossom beetles are insects that feed on the swollen buds of apple and pear trees. They belong to the family of weevils of the order of beetles. An agricultural pest can cause enormous damage to the crop. The beetle can destroy 30-50% of fruit ovaries, in rare cases, destroys the entire crop.
Features and appearance of the pest
The beetle has an elongated body 3-5 mm long. The body of the insect is colored dark brown. Antennae and tarsi are rusty-red. They belong to weevils, as they have a rostrum. They can fly. In females, the proboscis is longer than in males. The oral organs are located at the end of the rostrum. Insect eggs are oblong, have a watery white color. In winter, they can be found in the bark of fruit trees at a depth of no more than 3 cm and in the garden bed. In summer, they live directly in flower buds. If spring is early and flowering occurs rapidly, then some beetles do not have time to settle in the bud and die.
Why is an insect dangerous?
The favorite delicacy of the apple blossom beetle is the flower buds of fruit trees such as apple, pear, quince, cherry. When the bud grows up, they pierce it with their proboscis, gnaw through a narrow hole and make their way inside the bud to feed and reproduce. Externally, a bud affected by a pest can only be identified by small holes, as if it had been pierced with a needle. The females of these insects lay 50 to 100 eggs, one in each bud.
The larvae mature in 2-3 days, completely destroying the fruit bud, which begins to flow (“crying buds”). Then they fly out. Such a kidney no longer bears fruit.
3-4 females are enough to destroy the crop of an average apple tree. The apple blossom beetle is difficult to detect at an early stage of tree infestation. Usually it becomes noticeable already when it is no longer possible to save most of the crop. Therefore, action must be taken immediately.
Reasons for the appearance of weevils
Weevils are especially active during the protracted spring, as they can almost freely make their way into the ovary of fruit buds. Insects are activated already at +6 degrees.
Pests in nature are destroyed only by some small birds, and then in small quantities.
If the orchard is located near wild apple trees, then the probability of infection with weevils is very high. Also, the reason for the appearance of weevils is the presence of old dead bark on the trees, in which they hibernate.
Methods of dealing with apple flower beetle
When planting a young garden, it is better to choose a piece of land on a hill, located at some distance from wild fruit trees. To reduce the risk of injury by weevils, agrotechnical methods of prevention are used. If pests are still found in the garden, various alternative methods or chemicals can be used.
In spring, at temperatures below +10 degrees, a simple method is used before the beginning of flowering of fruit trees. In the morning hours, they spread a tarp or film under the crown of the trees and shake the tree. Weevils fall on him, after which they need to be destroyed.
You can fight pests with the help of insecticide chemicals: biological pesticides, pyrethroids, organophosphorus compounds. They process the trunk and crown of trees.
The method is not the safest, but it is considered the most effective.
Processing is carried out before the set of inflorescences and again in July. The drugs Decis (2 ml), Kinmix (2.5 ml), Fufanon (10 ml), Fastak (1.5 ml), Karbofos have proven themselves well. Dilute any of them in 10 liters of water. A good result is observed if you alternate different drugs from year to year.
For the destruction of the weevil, folk methods are widely known that have long been used by people in their gardens in the fight against them. For these purposes, whitewash, ash, laundry soap, mustard are used. They are used during the period of bud formation. At other times, folk methods will have no effect. For the greatest effect, spraying with solutions is carried out in the spring 3 times every other day.
For the manufacture of mustard tincture use:
- 9 liters of water.
- 3-4 tablespoons of dry mustard powder.
Such a solution is insisted for at least 10 hours. You can spray both fruit buds and the crown and trunk of fruit trees.
Laundry soap solution
The solution is prepared from a piece of laundry soap grated on a fine grater:
- 1 bar of soap.
- 10 liters of warm water.
Stir thoroughly until the soap is completely dissolved and leave for about 4 hours. The method is safe for fruit trees. The method is universal, since both apple and pear trees can be treated with such a solution.
Wood ash solution
A good way to get rid of insect larvae is to prepare a solution of wood ash. It requires:
- 10 liters of water;
- 5 kg of ash.
The method is suitable for processing the bark and crown of trees. It can also be used to cultivate the soil under trees to destroy the pest that lives there.
Whitewashing with lime mortar
This method is the most common and effective of all folk methods. To prepare the mortar, you need slaked lime. It is bred according to the instructions with water and the trunks of fruit trees are treated. This procedure must be repeated twice a year: in spring and autumn.
Curing the garden from pests is problematic. The process is time-consuming and requires careful processing of the trees. It is better to apply preventive measures to prevent the appearance and reproduction of beetles:
- Plant trees away from wild apple trees.
- Remove fallen leaves, fruits.
- Remove dead old bark from trees.
- Remove buds damaged by weevils.
- Annually whitewash tree trunks with lime mortar, process the soil.
- Inspect fruit trees weekly in the morning for pests.
- Attach a glue belt at the base of the tree. Burn the collected pests.
Selection of apple varieties resistant to the flower beetle
There are several varieties of apple trees that are immune to pests and diseases. Such varieties can be purchased both of domestic and foreign origin.
These include: Carmen, Red Amber, Prestige, Aphrodite, Jonagold, Rodnichok, Pervouralskaya, Imsinap, Good News, Veteran, Uslada, Bessemyanka Michurina and others.It is worth noting that apple trees that are completely protected from pests do not exist. So that the weevil does not harm the garden, preventive methods of dealing with it are carried out.