Plum Curculio


Thanks, Carroll!
Actually I put the same exact Sevin product in my shopping cart as well. It seems can kill every single pest we know. :relaxed:
Please keep us posted about how well it works. If it works well, this will be the best one solution to control PC and all other pests.


I think nematodes work excellent and you should just be mindful not to apply them in a sprayer that has had pesticides in it (or applied recently to the ground) and to put it down before a rain or irragate after using them and releasing them in the evening for greatest efficiency.


My two cents - you are wasting your time with malathion and carbaryl to control PC on peaches. Lost an entire crop using these insecticides. Phosmet (Imidian) is highly toxic to mammals but is effective, should not be sprayed in a home yard. Permethrin is what I have found to be effective and is labeled for home use. I cannot speak to Zeta-Cypermethrin. I am located south of you on Lynchburg, Va.

Below is permethrin that is labeled for fruit and home use.


Note that Malathion has a pretty strong stink, so your neighbors may be more alerted/ bothered by it than the white color of Surround. Plum curculio is tough, your best bet for a house yard application is probably a pyrethroid, however their down point is the short residual effect (they get destroyed by UV light within a week, if not a couple of days). Below is a screenshot from Penn State’s home orchard manual, that rates the effectiveness of various insecticides (ones that are registered for residential use) against some of the common stone fruit insect pests.


Malathion smells like toxic death - I hate it


Those with a small yard and live in a densely populated area should consider if the chemicals recommended are rated for residential use or not. Some growers here do not live in a residential area so they have more choices.

Also, be careful how lethal certain chemicals are to beneficial insects and what time of the day to spray to minimize the damage.

In short, for people new to spraying chemicals, there are things to consider when choosing what to spray.


Noticing on that chart that nothing much is listed as very effective against PC


Correct, and that’s why I think it is a tough pest. The best insecticides that work against it are ones with significant mammalian toxicity, which I would hate to use even if I had a commercial orchard. Spraying pesticides is my least favorite part of growing fruit trees!


Totally agree with you. I’ve never had full crop because of these pests esp. PC which show up so early. I figure that’s OK since I’d rather not kill many beneficial insects and/or get my neighbors to be really upset with me :smile:

This PC is not politically correct for sure.


Thanks, Richard!
That’s very helpful info!
Does Permethrin smell less bad than Malathion?


That’s interesting!
I read malathion is used to control mosquitos in public area. I thought it shouldn’t smell too bad. Have to test it out to determine. I don’t want get complaints.


Totally agree!


I notice very little odor with Permethrin. Malathion and Imidian have much stronger smells. I should mention the one down side to Permethrin is that it kills beneficial insects. This has not been a problem with peaches for me. I made the mistake of using Permethrin on apples one year and it was a disaster - really bad wooly aphid outbreak.


I find it slightly insane that organophosphates for home/garden use have no PPE listed… It looks like the ag grade malathion is only 7% more concentrated than Ortho, etc…


Nematodes will make the pest issue less after every year. What happens after years of using these other pesticides (Its possibly they knock out all the predators and you build pesticide immune pests) Anyone spraying pesticides should be doing atleast 3 different mode of action pesticides and a nice rotation if your goal is to not build immune pests.


Zeta-Cypermethrin, the active ingredient in the new Sevin formulation, is rated just as effective as permethrin by the North Carolina Extension service. See page nine of I’m giving it a try this year after being displeased with the results I got using malathion.


After a quick glance at the NC guide I can’t see any difference between permethrin and zeta-cypermethrin. What am I missing?


I don’t think you are missing anything. You are right that there are no differences listed. I’m using Sevin instead of permethrin because I can find it locally and cheaply, and haven’t seen permethrin at any of the places I usually shop. Of course, if someone has a good reason to use permethrin instead I would change my mind.


My concern is not Permethrin vs zeta-cypermethrin so much (I would like to know of any advantages). Often the for home “mixes” of insecticides and fungicides are ineffective because they are such low percent mix of the active ingredients. How has your PC pressure been in the past? Would like to hear how the Sevin product works out for you.


I never trust extension evaluations and my question is what they mean by efficacy, knock down or staying power. I suspect permethrin would have almost double the staying power of Sevin, unless it has a new, longer lasting formula. Sevin lasts about twice as long as Malathion, which is inadequate for my purposes. I only want to need to spray once every 10-14 days to obtain adequate protection.

In NY, that means with a good pyrethroid, 2 sprays are often adequate.