Weevils on Pigeon Plum Trees
How do I get rid of weevils that have infested pigeon plum trees?
Most people plant pigeon plums as ornamentals. When the fruit of plum trees (and other fruit trees) is not intended to be used as food or feed, more aggressive options are available for ridding them of various bugs or pests. Which methods to use for ridding your tree of pests are mostly determined by the infestation itself.
At first onset of weevil (or other bug) problems on trees, hand picking or washing methods can be used. Tall or large trees (those that are too tall for hand picking of pests to be reasonable) can be washed with water using your garden hose. The force of the water will not only knock off many pests but it also reaches more leaves on their bottom sides, the sides that rain would rarely reach. A weak solution of soap and water, dispensed with a 20 Gallon Hose End Sprayer, can also be used to wash bugs off of trees. Soap helps break down the outer cuticle (exoskeleton cover) that is vital to the life of insects.
Pesticides for Weevil Control
When weevil populations are moderate to high, use a
professional insecticide that is labeled for use on the type of tree that is
infested or under attack. A professional grade concentrate will typically
have a longer staying power or residual (greatly reducing the need for repeated
applications, thus lowering the amount of chemicals used) and has a greater
initial knock-down. Dragnet
(professional grade Permethrin) and Talstar
One are both professional insecticide concentrates that are labeled for use
on most ornamental shrubs, trees and ground cover. Dragnet costs less;
Talstar works better and has a longer residual. When spraying trees for
weevil control, use a hose-end sprayer. A hose
end sprayer attaches to your garden hose, giving you greater pressure that
can usually reach higher tree limbs and effectively spray both sides of infested
leaves. [Insect pests can most often be found hiding and/or feeding on the
bottom of leaves. This behavior protects insects from predators and the
heat of the sun.] To reach higher branches of your pigeon plum tree (or
other trees), remove the directional attachment from your hose end
sprayer. This is also a good way to "blow through" the leaves of
a tree, treating both sides of the effected leaves.