Your Planting and Gardening Questions Answered – Orange County Register

Q. I liked your article about fruit trees in the newspaper. This year it was a challenge. An arborist suggested these citrus leaf miner traps and they work really well. I replace them every 3 months and catch quite a few of the bugs. No pesticides are needed and the trees are free of infestation.

A. I’ve had several emails regarding the leaf miner traps, so I guess I should have included them in my leaf miner column.

These pheromone lured traps can be found in grocery stores or online after some searching (I’ve never seen them in our local stores). They are safer and easier to use than soil drench because they only affect the problem insect and not the honey bees. I’m glad to hear they’re easier for homeowners to find.

There are other versions of sticky traps that are environmentally friendly, including codling moth traps. Many of them look like little origami pyramids or houses with a small entry hole just big enough for the target insect. The pheromones are species-specific, so only one species of insect will be drawn into the trap. Once inside, it can’t get out.

Other types of sticky traps, such as those for mice or rats, should never be used outdoors. Being non-specific, they can tempt non-target wildlife such as lizards, toads, baby skunks and possums or birds.

Q. The directions on my Bonide Systemic Granules say it should not be used on vegetables or other edibles. Can you please explain or clarify why you recommend it for citrus?

A. There are very few systemic insecticides approved for use on crops such as fruit trees. These are marked as such. Most systemics are not approved for edibles/crops.

When using this or any other pesticide, it is very important to follow the label directions carefully. Most systemic remedies can only be used within a very tight time frame, usually after the buds have fallen and not too close to harvest time. Treatment after the flowers have faded protects bees and other nectar feeders. Early treatment gives the pesticide a chance to go away before the fruit is harvested. Your Planting and Gardening Questions Answered – Orange County Register

Adam Bradshaw

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