Insect BarrierTed Swensen
As my girl friend was trying on shoes and I was doing my impersonation of a pink flamingo, standing on one leg then the other, I noticed something. She was putting on disposable nylon foot sox. I thought, if it could cover feet, why not an apple.
I asked the clerk if I could have some of the nylon foot sox to experiment with apples for insect control. After staring at me she tentatively said, "yes".”
I grabbed a handfull, about 24, and applied them to my apples when I was thinning. They applied much faster than the #4 brown paper bags that I use.
As I covered the apples with the nylon sox, several questions went through my mind. Would they stay on the apples? Would sun and air pollution cause them to disintegrate? Would insects, codling moth and apple maggot fly, be deterred? The results are in and the answers to my questions are: yes, they stayed on the apples all season. They did not disintegrate. Not one codling moth or apple maggot infected any of the 24 covered apples. Some of the apples developed apple scab fungus, but no insect damage.
The advantages of nylon foot sox are: when using paper bag, fruit gets damaged, not so with foot sox. Short stemmed apple varieties are just as easy to cover as long stem variet-ies.
How to Apply Nylon Footies
These nylons have no elasticity, that is, once they stretch they do not resume their previous shape. I put my thumb into the opening of the nylon and stretched it to the size of my thumb or the apple. I then slipped the nylon at least 1/2 to 3/4 of the nylon length onto the apple. That's it!