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 Coddling Moths on Asian Pears 
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1355
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Coddling Moths on Asian Pears
Hi Debbie,
I don't know if you want to or can raise chickens where you live. It's a win-win. The chickens dig up the worms. It is a super healthy high protein meal for them, and then you don't get worms in your asian pears. Hardly any work on your part, and you save money on high quality organic feed.

Too high is too high. Central leader tends toward tallest and least accessible shape. I would gradually aim toward vase or modified central leader.

I don't think you need to worry about a virus jumping from prune to Asian pear. They tend to be specific within a species or genus. It may make you want to get rid of the prune though. Hard to get rid of.

I like to thin when I am putting the bags on. I throw the little asian pears into the area of other plants. They contain nutrients.
John S
PDX OR


Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:55 pm
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 11:47 am
Posts: 10
Post Re: Coddling Moths on Asian Pears
Hi John, Thanks for you reply. I have more questions. Will the moths go into downed fruit or only when the green fruit is on the tree? I sent the thinnings off to the yard wastes last year for them to be composted away from my property.

I love the idea of chickens, but I travel for my job weeks at a time and we currently don't have pets so that I don't have to worry about pet sitting. Maybe I can borrow some chickens just for the summer, or is it more important to have them now in the winter when the cocoons are there? I can check with an acquaintance that has some. Would ducks work just as well do you think? He has both chickens and ducks, and I suspect I could borrow some. I've heard ducks are good sluggers so thought maybe they would go after the moth grubs. I was also thinking chickens would not work because my fruit trees are not isolated from the rest of my back yard gardens, and I remember my friend who raises chickens in Colorado says that her chickens eat absolutely everything green, so she can't let them loose in her garden for more than a short time. My whole back yard is steep, terraced in a U shape around a patio with the fruit trees, vegetable gardens, raspberry and blackberry rows and children's play area all overlapping in different ways. i worried that the chickens or ducks would be putting droppings where the toddler's play and eating up my veggie and bulb shoots. If it is just in the cold months, not much of a problem, though. It's too sloping and uneven for a chicken tractor but I've thought of moving them around. I also have raccoons in the back yard almost daily during the summer evenings and wondered if they would go after the chickens? If you have been raising chix in Portland, I'd appreciate advice about whether this could still work. If I borrow them, what months I should arrange it?

After doing so much work to put baggies on my fruit last season, and then having it do absolutely nothing, I am inclined not to bag this year. I used ziplock brand and was careful to zip them tight around the stems, so I don't know whether the bugs chewed through or still managed to get in around the stems, but it was a total bust with both maggot and moth hits, multiples on every piece of fruit. I could try the footies with kaolin I suppose. Do you think they would work if the baggies didn't?

Thanks John for your help.


Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:31 am
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1355
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Coddling Moths on Asian Pears
Moths lay eggs in the fruit that is on the tree. When the fruit falls, they crawl into the soil. Having chickens dig now would be great, even just for a little while. The maggots will be biggest in April here, just before they fly up and land in the apple. Intermittent visits by chickens would be great. I don't/can't have chickens. Written into the homeowner's code. Raccoons will eat chickens. Need a "house or tractor" you can close up at night. Chickens will eat many other things. Ducks are better at eating slugs than chickens are. I only put on footies with kaolin clay. Not worth it otherwise. It works pretty well that way, not 100%, but pretty well, maybe 85%.
John S
PDX OR


Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:17 am
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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:42 pm
Posts: 188
Post Re: Coddling Moths on Asian Pears
Heavy-duty foot sox with kaolin clay have worked for me....they just about always work.

And the ziploc bags have also worked for me.

So, I am not trying to make Debbie feel bad, and there are always missing variables that are hard to identify....but I just can't see how both the baggies and the footies went bust for her.....I have to wonder if she applied early enough in the season or something. I just have to wonder what went wrong.

As to the chickens: The chickens will essentially do no good at all against the codling moth....because the codling moth flies quite a ways and will come onto her property from other sources........the chickens may actually help on the apple maggot fly problem, though, because if she can clear up the apple maggot problem on her own property and if there is more than 100 yards or so in distance from the nearest uncared-for apple tree, she might reduce her apple maggot problem......similarly, I think some homeowners should consider using beneficial nematodes on their own property in order to get rid of the over-wintering apple maggot larvae that are in the top couple inches of the soil directly underneath their apple trees.....clearing up the apple maggot problem locally is usually more do-able than clearing up the codling moth problem locally.

The chickens would be an education and a source of manure...both good things...and all experiments are good....imo and all.....so if she decides to use them, I hope she lets us know what the results are.


Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:11 pm
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 11:47 am
Posts: 10
Post Re: Coddling Moths on Asian Pears
DonRicks wrote:
Heavy-duty foot sox with kaolin clay have worked for me....they just about always work.

And the ziploc bags have also worked for me.

So, I am not trying to make Debbie feel bad, and there are always missing variables that are hard to identify....but I just can't see how both the baggies and the footies went bust for her.....I have to wonder if she applied early enough in the season or something. I just have to wonder what went wrong.

Hi Don, I have been thinking thru my procedure too. I tried three kinds of plastic bags--heavy freezer bags, sandwich ziplocks and even tried a few with large breadsacks taped around the end of a branch. I started bagging when the fruit was about the size of a marble, so plenty early enough. I cinched it tight to the twig at the base of the fruit or the branch, depending on how I could secure the bag. Almost 100 percent of the bagged fruit was hit. The breadsack is the only one that worked to keep out the worms, but made a mess with the decaying leaves inside and would only work for fruit on the end of branches. I did make sure to pick or pick up and get off the property every piece of fruit that was hit, within a few days of when I noticed it. So I'm actually hoping that more diligent disposal of infected fruit will decrease my population better than the year before when I waited too long to clean up rotten fruit when we first moved in. I am in a high density older suburb in NE Portland with a small lot and close neighbors, so no doubt plenty of apple trees in flying distance, although none in adjacent properties that I can see.
So, I might try the kaolin footies, although it may be a challenge to bag baby Asian pears as the shorter stems seem to not allow enough room for tying them as the video shows with apples. It also looks like a pain to be so meticulous with every single piece of fruit. I also looked at organic sprays. The small area I sprayed with NEEM last year seemed to resist the bugs for a few weeks anyway, but I didn't buy enough spray to repeat and after a few weeks those fruit also got hit, just later than the ones which were untreated.
--Debbie


Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:52 pm
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