I’m down to my last bag of frozen peaches – you know what that means!
Time to set up the bug traps!
Everything is growing like crazy after this wonderful wet Winter we had, including the bugs. Our peach and apple trees have a lot of fruit, so much we will have to thin it, and I’ll bet there’s a hungry bug for every peach.
These bugs lay their eggs in the young fruit, and the damage really comes in just as the peach or apple is getting good sized. It will look great on the outside – maybe you will see a tiny bruise or hole where the baby bug has eaten its way out – but just when it should be ripe and delicious, you find it is rotten to the core, spoiled from the inside out.
So, as soon as the fruit is as big as the end of my pinky finger, I set the traps.
You’ll need to save up some plastic soda bottles, 12 – 16 ounce size is good. Then you’ll want to make your bug juice. I can’t take credit for this recipe, I got it online, but I will say, it brings the bugs a-runnin’. Or a-flyin’, actually.
- 5 cups of water – warm water helps everything mix better.
- 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar (and this comes in a nice plastic bottle that you can use for a trap when it’s empty)
- 1/4 cup of molasses
- about a teaspoon of ammonia
Start with a bigger container to mix it in, like an old liter water bottle or a gallon jug, something with an easy pour top. Pour in about half of your warm tap water, then add the other ingredients and give it a good shake. Then add the rest of your tap water. This amount will be enough for about 6 traps – you only need to put 2 – 3 inches of bug juice in each trap, just enough to drown the bugs. The ammonia also helps to kill the bugs, poor little trespassers!
Remove the bottle tops and fit each top with some baling wire, or string if you don’t have baling wire. Wrap it securely around the top and then put the lid back on. Another trick is to heat the wire and burn it through the bottle top, but wrapping it has worked for me. Leave a good 8 – 12 inches of wire to attach your bottle to the tree. Then cut a 2 – 3 inch hole in the neck of the bottle, just below the top. This is where you fill the trap and then the bugs get in. Again, you only need two to three inches of bug juice per trap.
Check your traps regularly, when they start to get too full of moths or flies, throw them out and start over. These traps have worked well for me – I’ve got more good fruit since I started using them.