Nectarine tree fruit riddled with worms – should I call it quits and remove all fruit now – how do I prepare for success next year
!? First time I've had a fruiting tree (ex-city girl). Given advice to hang fruit fly trap in tree, then someone else said, hang 2 mtr away from tree, don't use chemicals, put net over tree to stop birds stripping the fruit etc. etc. Did all of these. Tree now heavy with fruit, but every nectarine I've picked up off the ground is crawling with worms and the tree is buzzing with fruit fly. Have been collecting, every day, all dropped fruit and taking it 100 mtrs away into a sealed bin. Wondering if I should pick all the fruit off now, (sized from golf balls to almost cricket ball size) and try again next year!! Would appreciate some advice! Thanks you.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Fruit flies are a difficult pest to manage. The traps are good at detecting early activity so that you can time a spray or bagging program. They are not so good for completely controlling a heavy infestation.
If you still have immature fruit on the tree, you can bag them to protect from birds and fruit flies. Your bird exclusion nets may protect the fruit on the tree if made from a fine mesh. Otherwise there are special bags and sleeves for this purpose. If you do an Internet search for "fruit fly bags" you will find suppliers and YouTube videos.
Another alternative is to spray an insect pest repellent like neem seed extract with Azadirachtin active ingredient, or another botanical protect like rosemary oil or clove oil solution. There also are biological controls as discussed in article below: