Footie Update: Improving Coddling Moth ProtectionTed Swensen
Surround®, a white, odorless kaolin clay, is used as a deterrent for pests and diseases on fruit trees. Kaolin acts as a physical barrier preventing insects from reaching vulnerable plant tissue. It acts as a repellent by creating an unsuitable surface for feeding or egg-laying. The uniform white film may also disrupt the insect’s host- finding capability by masking the color of the plant tissue. Furthermore, particles of kaolin act as an irritant to the insect. After landing on a treated surface, particles of kaolin break off and attach to the insect’s body triggering an excessive grooming response that distracts the pest. I thought, why not soak nylon footies in Surround® to see if Codling Moths would be repelled. I experimented with Surround® saturated nylon footies on apple fruits. Those apples with Surround® soaked footies were pest free, those with plain footies had codling moth but no apple maggot, those apple fruits with no protection had both codling moth and apple maggot (100%). The Surround protected fruits seemed to be free of earwig damage, unlike the other test fruits. The year before I had experimented with other nylon footie combinations, but I was unable to control the codling moth infestation until I tried the Kaolin treatment.
The “how-to” for Surround soaked footies
Need 4 quart pan, colander to hold 288 footies, another pan to catch fluid. Directions:
- Add container of Surround® (3 T) into 3 quarts of water
- Stir– or Surround® will not dissolve
- Place 288 footies in Surround® + water – stir to soak footies
- Pour footies and Surround® mixture into colander with pan beneath to catch fluid 5. stir captured fluid and pour over footies with catch container beneath
- Keep repeating until fluid does not have evidence of Surround®
- Dry footies by spreading on wire mesh, table,etc.
- Apply to fruit BEFORE codling moths mate
HOS is selling footies again this year, find out more.