BURLINGTON, Vt. -
Apples are a North Country favorite, but if you want to grow apples that are actually edible, there are some things you should be doing right now. Sharon Meyer and Charlie Nardozzi show us ways to discourage pests without spraying.
Sharon Meyer: Charlie, don't see any apples yet, but it's time to take care of the apple trees isn't it?
Charlie Nardozzi: Yes, apples grow well in Vermont, but so do the pests. So if you have diseases, you really should be growing disease resistant varieties, like Liberty and Williams Pride. But for insects, there is no insect resistant varieties, so you have to do some trapping and maybe some spraying.
Sharon Meyer: A lot of people want to try to stay away from spraying if we can.
Charlie Nardozzi: Exactly, and these are two ways you can do that with two of the biggest pests. So the apple maggot fly, that's the one that creates that little worm, those little tunnels in your apple. You can put up this trap. This is a red spherical ball, with a yellow card around it. It's actually a local developed trap. And you put this tangle foot, this is a sticky substance -- kind of like Vaseline -- all over it; and a little lure on it as well. And it draws that apple maggot fly in there and it gets stuck on it. And if you put two of these on an apple tree this size, you won't have to spray for apple maggots.
Sharon Meyer: Oh nice.
Charlie Nardozzi: And you want to do that right now, this is the time to do it. Now another trap would be the coddling moth trap, it's the traditional wormy apple, you know the worm comes out of the apple with the little head. That's the coddling moth larvae. Again it's a trap, it's a different shaped trap, but it's the same idea. You put the tangle foot inside with the lure inside there, and the adult comes in thinking he's going to find the female somewhere, and he will get stuck and he will die. Now unlike the apple maggot trap here, this one you put one per tree and it probably won't kill all of the coddling moths, you'd probably still have to spray a little bit, but at least it's going to reduce the numbers.
Sharon Meyer: Now there is another way you can reduce the coddling moth numbers, and that is using cardboard.
Sharon Meyer: Really, that sounds easy.
Charlie Nardozzi: That's really simple. So what you do is take a piece of cardboard, you strip off the backs of the so the corrugated side is open, and you put the corrugated side down. Then you attach it with some tape or staples right along the trunk or along the branches. Now this is going to get the moth after it's done going out of the apple and climbing down to pupate. And it will go into the corrugations and it will try to pupate there, and then every few weeks you open it up, and you'll find the coddling moths in there, and you can squish them.
Sharon Meyer: So maybe you should do all three.
Charlie Nardozzi: So if you do all three, hopefully you'll have some nice edible apples without having to spray.