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Why Do People Hang Milk Jugs From Apple Trees?

Insects can be a major issue if you’ve got an apple tree, with pests like apple maggots causing significant harm to both your own fruit and the tree itself. Sticky traps are often used to protect against insects but provide little protection against flying pests. Homemade traps made from milk jugs provide extra protection for your trees, luring both crawling and flying insects in and killing them before they can escape.

Jug Traps

Milk jugs hanging out of apple trees and other fruit trees are used as traps to catch and kill pests that would otherwise damage the trees or fruit. Insects are lured to the jug with a sweet liquid bait solution and are not able to escape. The trapped insects become coated in the bait solution and finally drown within the trap. You can make traps of different sizes using half-gallon or gallon jugs, depending on the size of your trees.

Trap Solution

There are numerous strategies to produce an effective way for jug traps. Most liquid bait solutions are created using either sugar or molasses combined with water in a 1:10 ratio to make a syrup. Some options also include apple cider vinegar, reducing the amount of water and creating a more intricate bait. Other organic materials, like diced banana peels, are sometimes added as well. Solutions can be reached in advance and stored in a separate container, allowing you to add solution to hanging traps in an as-needed basis without having to make more.

Earning Jug Traps

Milk jugs need minimal if any modification before they can be used as jug traps. While it is not necessary to cut the jugs, cutting holes in the sides of the jugs makes it even easier for flying insects to enter the trap and allows the trap to be refilled without removing it from the tree. These holes should be large enough at the sides of the jugs so that you are able to place at least 1 inch of bait solution in the trap without spilling.

Protecting Apple Trees

Hang jug traps from sturdy branches on the apple trees you would like to protect, using twine or other sturdy string. For smaller trees, a single jug trap provides adequate protection; large trees must have at least two or three traps. If there are no holes cut into the sides of the jugs, position the open mouth of the jug close to the division and tie the jug close to the trunk. Check the jugs every couple of days emptying and refilling them if a significant number of dead insects roam in the bait option.

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