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Solving Fruit Tree Problems

Collin W. Adcock
Horticulture Extension agent
Washington County

There are several insects that may cause problems for fruits. Some of these insects target the leaves while others target the flowers or fruits. Some common insects that may attack fruit trees include thrips, weevils, aphids, spider mites, caterpillars, stinkbugs, leaf footed bugs, plant bugs, sap bugs, and borers. Thrips and some weevils attack the blooms. Aphids, spider mites, caterpillar, and beetles will most often cause damage to the foliage. Stinkbugs, plant bugs, leaf footed bugs, weevils, and sap bugs are usually problems on the fruit. When it comes to insect management, chemical control is the most effective means of reducing populations and damage. Some common insecticides labeled for fruits are listed below.

Healthy grapes Photo Credits: UF/IFAS Photo by Thomas Wright

Bifenthrin (Capture) - aphids, bagworms, beetles, borers, caterpillars, grasshoppers, lacebugs, leafhoppers, leafminers, leafrollers, mealybugs, mites, thrips and whiteflies.

Carbaryl (Sevin, Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Killer for Gardens) – aphids, bagworms, beetles, borers, caterpillars, gall insects, grasshoppers, lacebugs,leafhoppers, leafminers, leafrollers, scales (crawlers stage) spittlebugs, thrips and whiteflies.

Imidacloprid (Admire) - aphids, beetles, borers, lacebugs, leafhoppers, leafminers, mealybugs, scales (crawlers stage), thrips and whiteflies.

Malathion (Ortho Malathion Plus Insect Spray for Gardens) - aphids, lacebugs, mites, scales (crawlers stage), thrips and whiteflies.

Permethrin (Ambush, Ortho Bug B Gon) - aphids, bagworms, beetles, borers, caterpillars, lacebugs, leafhoppers, leafminers, leafrollers, and mealybugs,

Horticulture Oils (Sunspray Ultra) - aphids, lacebugs, leafhoppers, mites, scales (crawlers stage) and whiteflies

Fruit trees can also be infected by several plant diseases. These pathogens may include anthracnose, rosette, orange rust, leaf spot, and numerous viruses. These diseases can severely limit fruit production. To prevent many of these diseases, fungicides like azoxystorbin (Quadris or Amistar), chlorothalonil (Bravo), mancozeb (Dithane & Manzate), and thiophanate methyl (Topsin) may be applied along with sanitation by proper weed and insect control and planting resistant cultivars. Unfortunately, there is no cure for viruses--only prevention. Some common fungicides labeled for fruits are listed below.

Azoxystrobin (Quadris, Amistar) - Alternaria leaf spot, anthracnose, leaf spot, downey mildew, powdery mildew and Rhizoctonia

Chlorothalonil (Ortho® Max™ Garden Disease Control, Ferti-lome Broad Spectrum Landscape & Garden Fungicide) - Alternaria leaf spot, anthracnose, cercospora leaf spot, downey mildew and powdery mildew

Mancozeb (Dithane, Manzate) - Alternaria leaf spot, anthracnose, cercospora leaf spot and downey mildew,

Thiophanate methyl (Topsin) - Anthracnose, botrytis, powdery mildew and leaf spots

When applying pesticides, make sure that the pesticide is labeled for the desired crop and remember to always read and follow pesticide labels exactly to avoid unnecessary crop injury!!!