Wormy peaches

IK just harvested my Elberta peaches from my two trees. All but 4 were visually unfit for consumption so I took the 4 inside to cut them for eating. They all had worms in them. Checking the others gave the same result. The trees dropped almost the entire fruit set on the ground before I could get to them, before they ripened. Please let me know what I am doing wrong.


Where are you located? Worms in peaches can be several pests such as plum curculio, Oriental Fruit moth, coddling moths, to name a few

Let’s start with the enemy number #1 of peaches, plum curculio.

Does anything stop plum curculio?.

Are you going to grow peaches with minimal spray or you don’t mind using strong chemical?

When you read the thread I linked above, you could get a better handle on minimizing wormy peaches.

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I have no problem using chemicals or sprays as long as the fruit itself is not impacted to the point of being inedible. It does sound/look like this was the culprit though. It also hit my apricot and plum trees as well. The apple tree had no fruit this year (new tree) so it did not appear to be impacted.

Is there any way to kill the larvae/eggs/adults before they emerge? I’m assuming some of them are in the ground surrounding the trees? Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

Where do you live? Please, at least, let us know your state.

I am in southeast Virginia, near Norfolk.


I’m in northern Va and mine are full of worms as well. It’s pc. I did not spray well enough and that is what happens. You can expect that every year unless you get a good spray schedule going. Even then there will still be some.


What do you spray with?

In the link I posted above, please read Bob Vance post # 54. The answer is there. The timing is on the graph he linked.

The easiest chemical for backyard growers to find is the new Sevin with zeta cypermethrin as the main ingredient. Timing and frequency is important. Start when flower petals drop called “petal fall” and every 7-10 days after that for at least 4 weeks.

If you have other pest like Oriental Fruit moth (likely), you may need to spray a couple more times. Also, you may get fungal disease called “brown rot”. Fungicide should be sprayed in the same tank as the insecticide. The one you can easily obtained is called Bonide Infuse.

Get another Bonide product called Bonide Turbo. It an agent that helps chemicals you spray spread and stick on leaves/fruit longer/better.

That is a fruit tree spray for beginners.

Read labels carefully before you spray. They will tell you how many times per season can you spray. Do not exceed that. Also, labels may tell you how many hours or days you need to wait before you can re-enter your orchard after spraying (called Re-entry Interval REI) and how many days you need to wait before harvesting your fruit (called Pre-harvest interval = PHI). Please follow that for your safety.


I have been alternating between myclo and infuse every other week. That’s got me down to 25-50% rot. Personally I think brown rot is worse than PC.

So true about reading the ENTIRE label, not just the directions for how much to add to a gallon of water. I noticed this last year about a spray I had been using, " no more than 4 times a season" . I had been using it every two weeks, oops. In have to figure out now what to use instead. I have 4 peach trees and 28 apple trees. Yikes!!

Not positive, but I think if you skin them it does not matter.

Yes, brown rot is worse because it wipes out the whole crop. PC may leave you some. I think where you are you have OFM snd PC but because the treatment is the same, people don’t differentiate them.

Myclo does not really work. I think. Captan and Bonide Infuse may be a better combo.

Myclo and Infuse ( propiconazole) are in the same chemical group. You could run into fungal resistance issue if you continue to use them together.

Are you talking about fungicide or insecticide?

I think I agree on the myclo. Myclo does work good for plc though.

It is a Bonide combo mixture. Fruit tree and plant guard orchard spray. I have had great results using it Just maybe I have been using it too often. I get perfect fruit using it IF I get to spray between the spring rain showers we usually get.

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Hey Mark. You’ve already gotten some great advice from knowledgeable growers. It sounds like you are really new to all this and very likely are quite shocked hearing you are going to need to start spraying as often as every 1-2 weeks in order to prevent the worms you are seeing and the brown rot you may not be seeing yet but almost certainly will. You can find lots of photos with a google search but brown rot makes the fruit look like it is covered in a brown substance that looks sort of like powder or like brown colored mold. Anyway, don’t be overwhelmed. Once you obtain your chemicals and have them on hand and then learn how to mix them and spray, it doesn’t take long at all. Sounds like you only have a few trees so you can do them all in less than 1 hour. Keep in mind that you can mix your brown rot fighter (aka fungicide) and your worm protection (insecticide) into the same tank and spray both together when one or both are needed)… You asked about where they come from…the worm you are seeing is actually a larvae (baby) that hatched out from an egg. The egg was laid into the fruit by ad adult Plum Curculio or adult Oriental Fruit Moth. The worms look very similar. The way it works is an adult insect lays an egg in the fruit. The egg soon hatches and becomes a “worm” (larvae). This worm bores its way through the fruit and into the seed pit. It feeds on the seed pit, which in turn eventually causes the fruit to fall from the tree and onto the ground. Eventually the nearly grown worm leaves the pit, bores back through the fruit until it comes out and then bores into the ground. It stays there until the following year when it comes up out of the ground and is able to fly. Soon it mates, flies and lands on a new fruit, lays an egg, and the cycle repeats. Its kind of interesting how nature works, but not any fun to have damaged fruit!

THe spray doesn’t soak into the fruit (well, our organic friends may debate that!) but generally it works by leaving an unpleasant and perhaps deadly (to the insects) coating on fruit that makes the insects want to avoid it and not lay eggs in it.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

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@Mearsma ,
@thecityman kindly explained how your peaches got those worms and the worms’ life cycle. It is recommended that you pick up all those wormy peaches and throw them out with trash. Do not compost them or let them lie around on the ground. This is a way to minimize their life cycle in your yard.

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@Mearsma - Mark, I am in Chesapeake. A stone’s throw from the N. Landing Bridge. Right ‘around the corner’ from you, most likely. I have one word for you, after trying unsuccessfully for 30 years to grow some edible peaches . . . .
IMIDAN. You can find it online. Also - Bonide has a couple of spray products for fruit trees that work very very well - to keep VA insect damage and disease at bay.
I have a Red Haven peach which is a great variety for our area. I also have an Indian Free, which has been disappointing. Fruited for the first time this year . . . but fruit is sparse and very small. (walnut size). I also have a Harko nectarine which has some beautiful fruit developing for the first time . . . and a Mericrest which is doing well, but not as well as the Harko. Fruit is smaller. Leaves do not look as robust. ? Who knows why. They all get the same care.


I have 3 Red Haven Peach trees. For 3 years we didn’t get fruit we could eat. Then by advice here, we started using Trazicide with Captan.

perfect fruit after that. But you need to keep notes of when you last sprayed. Also, record how much rain you get after a spray. More than an inch, time to respray!