WNC Orchard Pest Populations – April 15, 2024

— Written By and last updated by Alicia Gull
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April 15, 2024

apple blossoms

Petal Fall Sprays – Have Patience until Bloom Subsides

With a heavy bloom throughout the region, apples vary from full bloom to the petal fall stage. With virtually every orchard containing multiple cultivars, this complicates the timing of petal fall sprays, because both honey bees and wild bees likely will be foraging in the vicinity of drift when spraying. Unfortunately insecticides recommended for key pests at petal fall are highly toxic to bees, so insecticide sprays should be delayed until:

1) >80% petals have dropped

2) bees are not flying in orchards susceptible to drift

3) bees have been removed from orchards

Be sure to check labels on precautions to avoid bee kills, because the wording varies among products.

Relative Efficacy of Insecticides for Petal Fall

( ─ no activity, 1 = least effective, 5 = most effective)

Insecticide (active


Plum Curculio

Oriental Fruit Moth

Rosy Apple Aphid

Toxicity to Bees

Actara (thiamethoxam) 5 2 5 Highly Toxic
Assail (acetamiprid) 3 4 5 Moderately Toxic
Belay (chlothianidin) 4 3 5 Highly Toxic
Avaunt (Indoxacarb) 4 4 Highly Toxic
Imidan (phosmet) 4 4 Highly Toxic
Verdepryn (cyclaniliprole) 4 5 Highly Toxic
Sevin (carbaryl) 3 3 Highly Toxic
Voliam Flexi
(thiamethoxam +
5 5 5 Highly Toxic

Learn more about southeastern apple insect pests at the Apple Insect Management page.

2024 Average Weekly Trap Captures

Insects per trap
Apr 1 Apr 8 Apr 15
Codling moth  setup 0.0 0.5
Oriental fruit moth 100.0 108.5 103.0
Tufted apple bud moth setup 0.0 2.0
Redbanded leafroller 1.0 2.0 2.0
Obliquebanded leafroller setup 0.0
Lesser appleworm setup 0.0
Apple maggot (abandoned and research orchards)
Brown marmorated stink bug (commercial) setup 1.0
Brown marmorated stink bug (unsprayed) setup 0.0
Spotted tentiform leafminer 0.0 2.0 2.0
Dogwood borer setup 0.0 0.0
Peachtree borer setup 0.0 0.0
Lesser peachtree borer setup 0.0 3.0
San Jose scale setup 0.0 0.0

*Note that these averages illustrate only the timing of insect emergence and fluctuations in populations, and are not representative of population levels in any given orchard. The only way to have an accurate assessment of an individual orchard’s populations is to set up traps in that orchard.

2024 Accumulated Degree Days

Apr 1 Apr 8 Apr 15
Codling moth (Biofix: TBD)
Oriental fruit moth (Biofix: March 15) 137 188 288
Tufted apple bud moth (Biofix: TBD)

About degree-day models

2024 Pest Population Trends

graph showing insect populations graph showing insect populations graph showing insect populations graph showing insect populations graph showing insect populations graph showing insect populations