Winter Moth Problems on Fruit Trees

Winter Moth Problems on Fruit Trees

Fruit trees can be a winter home for a range of female moths. Amongst them are woolly aphis and capsid bugs plus other pests that emerge from the ground. They crawl up fruit tree stems and trunks in October to lay their eggs. The caterpillars hatch in spring and feed on the foliage and fruit.

Prevention and Treatment

  • To check the progress of these pests a barrier can be erected. Some fruit growers use a band of paper covered in tacky grease.
  • Tubes of special grease are now available specially for older fruit trees with rough bark where grease bands are less effective as pests can crawl under the band. Alternatively the bark can be smoothed first.
  • Winter moth and mottled umber moth need an  application at the beginning of winter before adult female moths climb trees to lay eggs. Apply again in summer to protect against ant infestations.
  • Rentokill call their product ‘Glue Bands’.
  • Grease any support stakes and low hanging branches.

Other Tips

  • Fix the grease band 1 ft below the lowest branch. Paint the stem with lime wash above the grease band.
  • Reapply after 2-3 months or renew the grease effect.
  • Also suitable for ornamental trees that are susceptible to infestation.
  • Keep bands free of dead leaves.


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