Caterpillars on the Apple Tree - Caterpillars, Cobwebs & Co

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Caterpillars on the Apple Tree - Caterpillars, Cobwebs & Co: infestation

Apple trees are next to the cherry trees to the classics in our gardens. Those who not only want to have them as an ornament, but also want to harvest a rich harvest, can not avoid the topic of pests. It is imperative to combat this. But first you have to discover and identify them. Because: Not all pests can be destroyed in the same way.


Hardly an apple tree in this country, which is not attacked sooner or later by pests. They belong to a certain extent. In principle, pests are not a broken leg. You just have to recognize them in time and take the necessary countermeasures. Of course this requires attention and regular control. Therefore, the basic task in the control of apple tree pests is always the visual inspection of the entire tree. In other words, he must be searched in relatively short intervals targeted. This affects all parts of the tree. Pests can concretely nest and spread at the following locations:
  • tribe
  • Branches and in particular branch tips
  • leaves
  • blossoms
  • fruit approaches
  • Fruits (apples)
Admittedly, it makes a lot of effort, especially on larger trees, and takes time to conduct the intensive review. It's worth it, too. It always holds that the sooner pests are recognized and fought against the apple tree, the greater the chances of sustainably ridding it of it. For example, one of the most common pests, the so-called codling moth, can multiply its population tenfold within a year. Timely action is urgently needed, if you do not want to leave your entire harvest to the animals.
Tip: In order to be able to search especially larger trees for pests, it is advisable to enter with a ladder in the tree. In any case, only controlling the lower games is not enough.


Apple trees can be damaged in many ways - by storm and hail, for example, by illness or by frost. The biggest problem, however, is undoubtedly the various pests that attack them. These are mainly insects and certain worms. In order to combat them effectively, it is very important to identify them accurately. Below, therefore, the most common apple tree pests are listed and described, how to recognize them or how to fight them. The listing is done in alphabetical order.

Apple blossom stingray (Anthonomus pomorum)

Apple blossom weevil

The Apfelbl├╝tenstecher is a beetle that belongs to the family of weevils. The oviposition takes place in the buds. The larvae of the apple blossom piercer then eat cavities in the buds of the apple tree, which means that it can no longer open. In addition, the animals cut and eat the petals. The result: There is often no more fruit education.
An infestation with apple blossoms can be recognized in principle only by a reddish brown discoloration of the leaves.
The control of this pest is hardly possible without the use of insecticides. The agent "Calypso" has proven to be extremely effective. In addition, dead buds and flowers should be removed immediately. Since birds are the natural predators of the apple blossom, it may also make sense to offer this one nesting or feeding place directly in the tree. Incidentally, an infestation with apple blossoms usually occurs only on apple trees, which are located in the immediate vicinity of a forest, since the adult animals settle there.

Apple rust mite (Aculus badendali)

The apple rust mite belongs to a mite species, which appeared only in the 1980s in this country. They suck mainly plant juices from the undersides of the leaves of an apple tree, resulting in a strong infestation not only to the discoloration of the leaves, but also to a significantly reduced yield of fruits.
The apple rust mite and its eggs are extremely small and usually invisible to the naked eye. However, a brownish discoloration of the underside of the leaves indicates relatively clearly an acute infestation.
Apple rust mites can only be combated by spraying a biological pesticide from specialist retailers. Above all, the prevention of this pest is important. Infested, brown discolored leaves should therefore be removed directly from the tree from mid-June and disposed of. This is best done by burning. The situation is similar with the legacies from the fall or winter cut.

Apple sawdust (Hoplocampa testudinea)

The apple sawfly is one of the so-called true sawflies.Even with this pest larva or caterpillars are the real problem. They drill into the fruiting body like a spiral.
An infestation with this pest is most easily recognized by the caterpillars that frolic on the surface of the apples. They have a whitish yellow color and have a dark brown head. Characteristic are the ten pairs of legs and an intense bug smell. An indication is also already infested fruits, as they usually remain smaller than unaffected, turn dark and form on the surface of a relatively conspicuous hairiness.
Fighting the apple sawfly is usually only necessary if the infestation is very strong. If, on the other hand, only a few or fewer fruits are affected (less than ten), this can be considered completely normal. The only way to permanently get rid of this pest is to inject a biological insecticide such as "Quassin", which is obtained from the bitter ash.

Codling moth (Cydia pomonella)

codling moth

The codling is a butterfly or a moth. However, it is not the adult animals that are problematic, but rather their larvae and caterpillars, which eat their way through the apple's fruit top or directly to the core housing. The codling moth is next to the aphids the most common pest in apple trees.
The control of codling moths should take place at the earliest possible stage and not only when the caterpillars have formed. A possible infestation can be recognized at this stage most likely by the eggs. The females deposit their eggs on the surface of an apple, to which they then adhere. The approximately one millimeter eggs have a white, almost transparent color, are relatively flat or round and have in the upper part of a nearly lenticular shape. The hatched larvae in turn change color between white and yellow, are initially about two millimeters long and can reach a length of up to 20 millimeters. They are relatively easy to recognize by their black head and the reddish color they assume in the last instar.
The type of control depends on the codler on the intensity of the infestation. In order to determine how pronounced this is, it is recommended to attach a so-called pheromone trap, which shows the degree of infestation. The traps are available at the garden shop or in the hardware store. With a rather slight infestation, it is often sufficient to promote the natural predators of the codling moth such as bugs, parasitic wasps, earwigs or birds. The best way to create nesting and feeding facilities for the animals, which are located directly in the tree. For bugs and earwigs, for example, offers a filled with wood wool clay pot, which is hung upside down on a branch. Birds in turn can easily be attracted by a bird feeder in summer. If, however, already a stronger infestation before only helps the spraying of a biological pesticide, which is also in the specialized trade. The spraying must be done multiple times, because codling worms lay eggs up to three times a year.
Note: The often recommended laying a glue ring around the trunk to which the pests stick, is not enough with the codling moth, as they fly directly to the fruits and do not climb up the trunk.

Aphid / Mealy Apple aphid

Large frostbite - Erannis defoliaria - male

The Frostspanner is a butterfly that likes to lay its eggs in fruit or apple trees. After hatching, the larvae or caterpillars begin to eat leaves and flowers - depending on the infestation up to Kahlfra├č.
Angefressene leaves, flowers or even fruits are a clear indication of infestation with the freezer. In addition, a special construction, in which flower buds and leaves are interwoven, is very often also shown.
An acute infestation with frost tensioners can only be combated with insecticides. Basically, all agents that have been designed for use against biting or sucking insects are suitable for this purpose. It makes more sense, however, to prevent infestation. For this purpose, in the autumn (October), a glue ring is placed around the tree trunk. The pregnant females are more or less flightless and have to climb the trunk to reach their destination. On the way there they stick to the ring, there is no oviposition.

Spider moth (Yponomeutidae)


The caterpillar moth is a moth species that, with a certain preference, deposits its eggs in orchards and, above all, in apple trees. The hatched larvae or caterpillars then eat the leaves up to the total Kahlfra├č.
An infestation with Gespinnstmotten is easy to recognize the bright or white Gespinnsten that form on the tree. The caterpillars live in them.
Fighting the moth moth is very easy. It is simply enough to remove the Gespinnste including caterpillars completely by hand.

Red spider (Panonychus ulmi)

The red spider, also known as fruit tree spider mite, is a typical mite species.It feeds on the sap and therefore drills the leaves of the apple tree.
To detect an infestation with the red spider, one must look closely at the leaves of the tree. There, the puncture sites of mites can be identified. These punctures are usually dark discolored. A clear indication can also be when the leaves suddenly roll up or even fall off. At a later stage may also form on the leaf surfaces and yellow-reddish mold.
The red spider is controlled by pesticides or insecticides or by their natural predators. These include, in particular, predatory mites, raub bugs, lacewings and last but not least the ladybirds.

Video Board: Do you know what is causing these tree webs?.

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