Nylon Footies: Excellent Insect BarrierTed Swensen
The results are in; Nylon Footies are 100% effective against apple maggots & 96-98% effective against coddling moths. The environmentally effective way to protect your fruit without spraying is easy to apply. The key to the effective barrier is time of application. Nylon Footies must be applied BEFORE the codling moth emerges in early spring. Apple maggot fruit fly emerges after the codling moth.
Easy to Apply
I was an advocate of paper bagging fruit. I now advocate use of nylon footies because they are just as effective but much easier to apply. I apply the footie when fruit thinning for apples within 40 days of petal fall to help eliminate alternate bearing by sliding the footie over my little finger and bunching the nylon so that at least half of the length of the footie slides up the fruit. I make sure the top of the nylon covers the stem. That's it, no tying the nylon to the fruit stem or branch. Footies also work well on short fruit stemmed varieties, whereas, paper bags do not.
When thinning fruit, it is the general rule not to have two fruits on one spur because they will touch each other. If two fruits touch each other most of the time the coddling moth larva will enter where they touch. I placed nylon footies on 6 pairs of fruit that touched each other to see if they would become wormy. Results: not one of the six pairs of fruit had coddling moth or apple maggot.
Nylon Footies stretch as the fruit grows. When removed from the fruit it is still stretched. One HOS member has washed stretched nylon footies and said they shrunk to their original size. I have hand washed about 200 used nylon footies and dried them is a dryer and all shrunk but a few (>5%) still had a slightly larger opening than non-used nylon Footies. It appears and we will know next season if they will stay on the fruit.
HOS is now selling them on this website. See the Fruit Footies page for details.