Plum Curculio


I use 3 cups per gallon, with some Dawn, some Neem, some Triazide, and I’ll be using some vinegar in the future in 1 or 3 gallon hand pump sprayers.

I wasn’t all that happy about using Triazide, but the Lowe’s I went to didn’t seem to have any Malathion products and I really wanted to get out ahead of the PC this year. Last year I lost 99% of my apples to them. I only intend to use it on the tree fruits, and only once or twice. PC seems to be my only insect issue.


I agree with the use of Surround. It works well for us.


It is not that they lose interest. I think it is about their life cycle. We have two generations of them here. The first one coincides with when fruit start to set and the damage can be extensive when they all emerge in droves. The 2nd generation intend to do damage on fruit the first generation has missed!!!




This info is good for my area. Your area may be a bit different in timing.


@mamuang. From UNH Extension. The eggs hatch in 2-12 days and the grubs immediately begin to feed in the fruit. Most grubs work their way into the center of the

I have two multi-grafted plum trees and they bloomed and set fruit over a long period of time. While waiting on them to finish I noticed a few PC scars on the larger fruit. Looking over the scars the eggs appeared to not hatch and the plums otherwise look good. I did spray a couple of times at the end of the day with an all season oil during the bloom period. Wonder if the oil killed the eggs???


I never spray oil after a dormant season. But it is an interesting theory. I also think some eggs may not hatch, anyway.

I cut up so many fruitlets that have PC and/or OFM punctured wounds. While several had tunneling, some did not develop at all. Looking from outside, I could not tell so I picked them all off.




I would guess for me a gallon would do maybe three trees that size.

The first generation wants to lay eggs soon enough so the seed will not yet be hard when the worm reaches the center … eating the seed causes the fruit to fall which is the goal of the curc. After seeds start hardening there will be little in the way of curc bites. Sometimes you can get a round of late bites, I get them on the tops by the stems of my Euro plums. But this is still all early on, in the second half of the summer there are no curc problems.

Sometimes it seems like the PC runs out of eggs and they are just shooting blanks - scars but no worms. Oil kills eggs but the PC puts eggs inside the fruit a bit so I am not sure oil can do anything. For moths oil definitely helps smother eggs.


I’m planning to spray my romance cherries, peaches and pears when the wind and rain stop.

In the meantime, the deer have been through a few times and really torn up some of my trees. This was early compared to previous years and they seem to be ignoring the raw egg spray that worked in the past. Has anyone noticed if surround helps reduce deer browsing? If so, I might hit the dalias, hostas and other things they’ve topped already. Grrr…


I will be happy if deer eat hosta or any leafy green. Deer in my yard eat fruit tree shoots and tutip flowers (unopened).

Fortunately, our deer pressure is low.


You don’t have OFM issue? I have it as bad as PC and they have more generations. I see peach shoot flagging til late Sept to early Oct.


Strangely they’ve never eaten my tulips. The fruit trees are definitely their first choice, then when they’ve got most of the leaves off my little dwarf trees, the eat the swiss chard, hostas - even my hot pepper plants. I’m hoping surround will make the trees less desirable so some of the tender growth can have a chance.


I get PC damage all summer long on peaches here. I don’t have plums so I’m not sure on those. A couple of permethrin sprays 10 days apart starting at shuck split got rid of the first generation last year, but fruits that I did not put in a clemson bag after the second spray got hammered starting in late may early june and continuing on. They were full of all different sizes of pc larvae come harvest time. I have some surround and may try it next year. Because of the virus, this year is not the year to take chances because the only fresh fruit and veggies we are eating is what we can grow.


I’m not sure which spray type I will use long term for my plum trees but I though I would try my best this year with surround on them and see how well they do.


Glad you said this. I bagged a couple hundred apples (at nickle size- too late) and 80% of them fell. Some later drops might have been drought here, or young trees but now I’ve got my eye on PC. I’m normally “no spray” but this year will see how Surround works.


I’ve used one spray of sevin/zeta-cypermethrin formula on my plums and peaches. The plums were first, the peaches almost a week later. Yesterday I did my first round of plum thinning on three trees. Minimal plum curculio damage. The plums on the left had no damage, I just had to thin them because they were touching other fruit or were going to be touching others once they sized up. The ones on the right were damaged in some way, with about half the damage being plum curculio. This is a dramatic improvement from previous years. I don’t know about the long term, but last year I used malathion and was so disappointed in the results I decided to move on to something else. IMG_20200409_194133426


Great results and your plums are growing a little faster than mine. I had intended to use permethrin on two of my multi grafted trees but the blooms lasted so long I was afraid I would kill the pollinators. My future plans are to go toward one variety per tree.


Did you collect the thinings for a photo up or are you going to make green plum pickles or wine?

 This year I looked up bloom times for my upcoming apple grafts. Last year it never occurred to me to be mindful of that when making some Frankentrees. Now I have a chart made of what to put where to take along out to the  orchard to be more methodical in my grafting when the time comes. Everything is still quite dormant here, which is good, with 19 degrees in the forecast next week.
  A combination of Surround, Spinosad, and bagging worked fairly well on my apples last year, but I need a better attack plan on the stone fruits. If it isn't PCs, it is brown rot!