Every summer since planting “QT” (my quince tree in Newport, Rhode Island), I’ve tried to stump the codling moth, apple maggot, and other quince-loving worm invaders from feasting on my quince using organic prevention methods.
I’ve used Footies (nylon sock coverings), Footies soaked in Surround (an inorganic clay), pheromone strips and moth traps, a variety of organic sprays (some with soap; others with oil), and combinations of the above…all to very little effect. This summer, I decided to try a spinosad (spin-OH-sid) containing product. I found Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew at the local Agway store so that’s the brand I’m using.
Spinosad insecticides are nerve and stomach poison derived via fermentation from naturally occurring bacterium Saccharopolyspora spinosa. Fellow organic gardeners have reported positive results when using a spinosad product for worm control. The science says that spinosad offers excellent control of targeted pests and low toxicity to non-target organisms, including most beneficial insects. The insecticide has low mammalian toxicity, and there are no reported negatives that I could find.
I applied the first application on Father’s Day. Due to the warm spring, more than likely, codling moths have already laid eggs in my tree, but “better late than never,” right?
QT has a lot of well-set fruit. Following a 10-day to 2 week spinosad-spraying regiment, I hope to have less protein in my quinces this harvest. Hope springs eternal…I’ll keep you posted. Quince on!