How to beat the pest of british orchards

The apple fruit rhynchites weevil – a pest that is becoming prevalent in English orchards – has been spotted in some crops in Kent and the West Midlands, according to crop production specialist Hutchinsons.

The Wisbech (cambridgeshire)-based firm reported in its regular tree fruit bulletin at the end of last month (April, 2015) that the pest, which feeds on fruitlets, is emerging. It therefore advised growers that Calypso (thiacloprid) would give good control of the pest – which commonly causes one per cent losses in apple orchards. Calypso, said Hutchinsons, can be used at the start of flowering as “it has good bee safety. Waiting until petal fall for sawfly control may not give you adequate control of rhynchites.” The crop production specialist also reported (in its May 4, 2015 bulletin) that apple ermine moth mines are also now being found. It said: “Look for browning of the margins of leaves (top right). If you open up the mines, you will find the caterpillars and their frass inside. Control is best achieved by targeting the caterpillars as they emerge from the mine and before they congregate inside their silken ‘tents’ on shoot tips and around flower/fruitlet clusters.”

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