Protection for Growing Peaches From Worms

Sweet, tangy peaches (Prunus persica), growing in home orchards and yards, are vulnerable to pest and disease damage. Peach attract borer worms and other pests. Borers feed under the bark and assault peach trees and other stone fruit trees. It is possible to control most pest attacks with pesticides. Knowing early signs of infestation may help protect the tree and its fruit harvest.

Peachtree Borers

Two kinds of borers affect peach trees. The greater peachtree borer (Synanthedon exitiosa) Expand under tree bark to feed on sapwood. Stripped bark and bare wood are indications of borer infestation — a weakened tree invites additional pests and disease. Insects attack near the ground line and may kill young trees by cutting off nourishment to the back. Peachtree borers frequently enter the wood through cankers and pruning scars. Damage contains masses of gummy, sappy liquid mixed with sawdust on the outer bark of trees. Lesser peachtree borers (Synanthedon pictipes) infest upper areas of the tree’s trunk and branches. Both borer species produce larvae that live in bark through the tree’s dormancy. In spring, larvae mature into adult borers. Female borers each lay around 400 eggs into or under the tree’s bark.

Indications of Borer Infestation

Peachtree borers, though they look like wasps, are really moths and watching out for pest damage is a step toward protecting stone fruit trees, notes Ohio State University Extension. Inspect trees throughout early spring pruning — borer activity may be present if there are holes in woody branches or the trunk. Pheromones attract male borers to females, therefore traps featuring these synthetic substances can ascertain when to use insecticides to larvae. Traps for lesser peachtree borers should be hung in late April. Traps for greater peachtree borers should be placed on the tree in late May. Each snare, when monitored weekly, approximately determines the number of borers are in the tree.


Applying pesticides before borer eggs hatch might help control infestation, especially when trees are young. For protection during their first year, new trees should absorb pesticides into roots before planting. In the second year, use pesticides to back bark and around the base of this tree. Generally, the number of chemical programs needed depends on how badly infested the tree is also if you’ve got either one or two kinds of peachtree borer. Chemicals for use on peachtree borers include paradichlorobenzene crystals (PDB), endosulfan, carbaryl and permethrin.

Pest Issues

Even though borers are a common threat, peach trees are vulnerable to a number of other pests including aphids, mites, stink bugs, thrips and scale insects. Insect injury can lead to foliage to yellow, premature leaf curl and drop, honeydew excretion and sooty moulds on fruits. Twig borers, scale and comparable pests may weaken, damage or destroy twigs, branches and, in serious cases, entire trees. Some insects, such as San Jose scale, are preyed upon by 2 beetles, Chilocorus orbus and Cybocephalus californicus, and a couple of tiny wasps. Chemicals for basic pest and pest management include malathion, methoxychlor, dormant oil and fixed copper.

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