Footie Update: Improving Coddling Moth Protection

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:

  1. Add container of Surround® (3 T) into 3 quarts of water
  2. Stir– or Surround® will not dissolve
  3. Place 288 footies in Surround® + water – stir to soak footies
  4. Pour footies and Surround® mixture into colander with pan beneath to catch fluid 5. stir captured
  5. fluid and pour over footies with catch container beneath

  6. Keep repeating until fluid does not have evidence of Surround®
  7. Dry footies by spreading on wire mesh, table,etc.
  8. Apply to fruit BEFORE codling moths mate

HOS is selling footies again this year, find out more.