Bagging and wasps

A note on one benefit of bagging fruit.

I used a poor variety of ziplock bags on my Gala apples this year, and quite a few fell off. This has been a very dry year, which has brought out the wasps in vast numbers now that the fruit is ripe. I find that the apples w/o bags have been mined by wasps, a few down to the empty skin. Apples with bags were left alone, and I picked them in pristine condition.


That’s the benefit that is often overlooked. Wasps have damaged lot of my plums as I do not bag plums.

I am considering stop bagging peaches to be able to spray for fungicide against brown rot in the summer. But unbagged peaches will be vulnerable to wasps.

To bag or not to bag? that’s the question.

And wasps make the fruit vulnerable to brown rot. Although I’ve been eating some plums that the wasps were mining, and they were mostly still good

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My experience with my figs is that the wasps (and moths) don’t set in until the fruit is dead ripe. They’ll ignore something inches away that is one day less ripe.


Used to be, the wasps were all over the deadfall fruit on the ground, but not the fruit on the tree This year is different.

I also note that the wasps all seem to be yellow jackets. The biggest whiteface hornet nest in the world is up in a neighbor’s crabapple tree right near my fruit trees, but I haven’t seen any of those hornets digging in the fruit.

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This year (I moved to a new house in rural Connecticut) I have very high yellow jacket pressure, I can’t get close to one of my fig trees because it is full of them. They came first and after they dug a bunch of wholes in the ripening figs, flocks of SWD came, followed by flies and now I am loosing like 75% of figs to these pests… Yesterday, I said enough is enough and I sprayed all my fig trees with permethrin. I also bagged two dozen figs on two other trees that are just starting to ripen now (Adriatic JH and I-258), hopefully I can eat these.

I put out trays of coke or fruit juice with boric acid (3 tsp/gal) away from the fruit to keep the yellow jackets busy. For smaller plants like my figs I cover the whole plant with a tree bag. The tree bags work but it is inconvenient taking them off to get some fruit and then replacing them. Next year I plan to start trapping the yellow jackets much earlier in the season.

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Yes, this year is a little different. I got way more wasps damage on plumand peaches than other years. And I saw wasps are collecting flower pollen like bees do yesterday. This is my first time see wasps are interested in pollen

I think I have paper wasps.

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There are a lot of different kinds of wasp. I think I have at least three, but not are terribly aggressive.

I never have had trouble with them when they’re into the fruit, tho you have to be careful not to step on them. Only been stung when I got too close to a nest