JULY AND CHERRIES
The battle is heating up with cherries in Westview.
This week I’ve had a number of reports of grubs in cherries from almost all corners of Westview:
• Grief Point area: two reports (one on Hernando and the other near Marine/Penticton) but I think these growers have been keeping up with the picking so the grubs have not been too
• VIU area (within a few blocks of the college) - quite a few grubs and we also seem to be finding exit holes so I have put up a Cherry Fruit Fly (CFF) trap with lure. This grower is doing a good job of getting all fruit off the tree and destroying the larvae
• Mid-Westview, within a few blocks of the Fire Station - beautiful trees, heavily laden, badly infested so that 75% - 90% of the fruit is spoiled. Holes, oozing juice, rot, mold, grubs. The owner was doing a valiant job yesterday of getting all the fruit off the trees and into black plastic bags which he will tie up and put in the hot sun to destroy the larvae. Not sure if it is Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) or CFF; I have set CFF trap with lure there too.
• Near Post Office - owner was not aware of grubs being present but the person who obtained some of these cherries found them.
• No reports yet of problems from other parts of Powell River yet.
• Today I mailed off specimens of larvae and infested cherries to the entomologist, and we hope she can give us some identification by the weekend.
Just as expected, with mid-July approaching, the larvae are showing up in fruit. Maybe it is just a bit earlier than last year, but our season may be a little ahead all round this year. And of course, this year, we know to watch for them.
Only cherry reports so far. . . I don't know if it is SWD or CFF or both. I have some CFF traps out but have caught no specimens yet. Neither have I caught any specimens yet of SWD (male)
in my vinegar traps but it may be a week or two too early to expect to get them. Their numbers
are still breeding up.
It is confusing to many, but try to remember that SWD are a tiny 'vinegar fly' and CFF is the size of a small house fly and has striped wings. CFF attack only cherries; SWD host on all soft-skinned fruits and berries.
We put up CFF traps with an ammonium carbonate lure in specific locations to try and identify if CFF are present. If you think you may have CFF in your cherries, please contact me about whether we should set up a baited trap-see contact page
Please note: We do not use yellow sticky traps as a control method for CFF or SWD, as this is not effective for control - and we catch far too many other beneficial insects and even small birds with sticky traps.
The Skookum Gleaners have started going in to do picking jobs. If you too want to call on them,
the contact is: David - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Gleaners' strategy is to pick a crop clean and share between owner, pickers and a worthy local cause. They don't/cannot pick crops that are badly infested. Please don’t call them to such
PICKING THE CHERRY CROP
Cherries are a painstaking crop to pick, and even more so if you are trying to sort between good fruit and grubby fruit. Here are a couple of hints:
-pick into two buckets, 'Good' and 'Bad' or
-put a big tarp under your tree and drop the cherries down onto that. . . easy for sorting and easy for clean up at the end.
If you have ducks or chickens, let them forage under the trees so they pick up all fallen fruit and eat it, doing the cleanup for you and for the eco-system.
THE RULES OF THE GARDEN
• Again the reminder, if you find grubs in fruit do something to destroy the grubs - nuke,
boil, bake, freeze or solarize in a black plastic bag. After it is dealt with, you can tie it in a plastic bag for the garbage or bury is deep in your garden.
• DO NOT throw fruit (good OR infested) in the compost or over the fence or under the hedge, and don't take it to Augusta. This only provides more breeding sites and spreads the pest.
• Pick early, pick often, pick clean; this is the best strategy for the home gardener; we are already seeing the benefits of doing this.
• And store cool as soon as you have the fruit picked.
All the best,