1. At least anecdotally, it seemed as if the apple maggot problem was not as bad this year in the Seattle area. The wet June undoubtedly delayed the arrival of this fly. What is much more a matter of conjecture is that I wonder if our inordinately dry conditions in late July and August may have also discouraged the emergence of some of the flies and made our conditions more like Eastern Washington (a less hospitable desert environment for the fly). Since I am not a scientist, I am probably wrong on this guess.
2. What I do also note, though, is that the apple maggot problem has still not reached some sections of our state even in Western Washington. I found this out by taking a bike ride to northern Snohomish County two weeks ago.
3. The codling moth problem (different pest) seems to be less active in more rural and more woodsy parts of the state. I do not know why but I am guessing they have natural predators when the environment is more natural and less urbanized.
4. Untreated, normal foot sox were 100% effective in protecting against apple maggot fly if applied by late June. This was true for every case and in every orchard. The foot sox were also relatively effective against the earlier flying codling moth as well if applied in early June but this pest is much more problematic for the foot sox, and here the footies only seem to be effective where the codling moth pressure was low. I am experimenting with the use of trichogramma wasps to reduce the codling moth pressure and think I may be having success. That would increase the effectiveness of normal, untreated foot sox. This is not verified.
5. Where the codling moth pressure was high, what seemed to work was kaolin-treated SUPER-strong foot sox (as sold by the Seattle Tree Fruit Society). Many of the normal foot sox that I used where I had applied kaolin clay busted open and I think this might have been because I didn't follow the HOS directions but had my own method for putting on the kaolin clay and in areas where there was a lot of heat or sun, I had a problem. What I do not know, though, is whether the super-strong foot sox worked because they didn't bust open....or whether it was because the codling moths simply did not eat their way through the super strong foot sox. More research needed, but the latter theory (to my mind) is quite possible at the moment. (The super-strong footies have tougher nylon and cost more)
6. I have had success with using Fuji bags, a Japanese favorite method, in both Eastern Washington and in Utah. However, here in the western Washington area I have had problems. In one case, wasps destroyed the fuji bags and used them for nests. In another spot, every single apple shriveled within the Fuji bags. I assume this is an environmental problem....possibly related to the wet June....(?)
7. I have also tried green "U-Line" product merchandise bags here in Seattle. Many, but not all of the apples, dropped inside of those bags as well and I don't know why.
8. Where I have had success is in following the original HOS recommendation of using #2 bleached paper sacks as purchased from Merchants Paper Company in Portland.
9. I had success this year with using ziplock bags. Many people back East use these regularly. They are cheaper. You have to cut the corners to let out the water (but this year that wasn't a problem anyway). They are also a problem in areas where there is a lot of wind. The hole near the stem was plenty wide open enough for an apple maggot fly to drift on down the stem to the apple, but they didn't seem to do this. I don't know why, but I have a really bizarre theory as one possibility if anyone is interested.
10. I had a request for a biodegradable footie. Hmmm.....it would have to last at least a couple months....I had no response to that person.
11. I tried GF 120 NF cherry fruit fly bait on one section of blackberries in my backyard. I did not see any of the thousands of bees from our backyard beehive go to this product.....and I doubt I killed any of them, even though I didn't always wait til technical sundown to put on this product. The beehive is thriving. (If they die this winter, I'll let you know but the point is I think that being careful is one thing...but paranoia is....well......). Back to the point, though: at least the way I applied it, I did NOT succeed in keeping out the spotted wing drosophilia. so, this organic product is probably best left for controlling apple maggot fly (and certainly for cherry fruit fly). It is also possible I did not apply it in the right way and get the droplets to be thick and small.
12. I was skinning an Orcas pear yesterday and taking off the scab on the pear. It occurred to me that for every purist that eats a potato with the healthier skin on it, there must be two or three who prefer to peel their potatoes. Therefore, I can not for the life of me see why we simply don't adopt the same sort of ethic for our scabby pears here in Western Washington and Oregon. The inside of the pear is absolutely fine and the skin peels quite easily.....(forgive the editorializing but not every problem has to be cured).
13. I found a simple way for cleaning the apple sippers that I have been putting my TangleTrap on for apple maggot fly. http://www.windyhillorchard.com/everyth ... ippers.htm
I simply put them in the washer and then wipe down the washer afterwards.
The result is that the bugs are gone, but much of the sticky stuff is still there and I can re-use these with essentially no work. (am mostly serious here).
After talking with Tim Smith, though, two weeks ago, I am more pessimistic about the overall efficacy of trapping. It only takes one fly to put on hundreds of eggs.....but, here's hoping.