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It is never pleasant to bite into a ripe juicy plum only to find it has a maggot (caterpillar) feeding inside.
Plum moth has caterpillars that feed inside the ripening fruits of plums, damsons and gages. Affected fruits are unfit to eat.
Indications of a plum moth include;
A resinous gum around the stone is a physiological disorder and should not be confused with plum moth damage.
Plum sawfly is a less frequent problem on plums than plum moth. The larvae tunnel into three or four fruitlets before going into the soil to pupate. Unlike plum moth whose caterpillar develop in the mature fruit, fruitlets damaged by plum sawfly fall from the tree at an early stage in June.
The plum cultivars ‘Czar’ and ‘Victoria’ seem to be more susceptible than others to plum sawfly.
Pesticides for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining pesticides available to gardeners)
Plum moth usually has one generation a year with adult moths emerging from late May onwards, but mostly in mid-June to mid-July. The newly hatched caterpillars tunnel into the fruits and feed around the stone until late summer. When fully fed, they emerge and overwinter inside silk cocoons spun under loose bark or other concealed places.
In warm summers, some caterpillars may pupate early and produce a second generation in late summer.
Bacterial cankerBlossom wiltBrown rotChemical labels explained Chemicals: using a sprayer Chemicals: using safely and effectively Codling mothFruit: harvestingFruit thinningFruit: protecting from frostPlums, gages and damsons: choosing cultivarsPlums: pruningPocket plum
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