Pests & Disease

Scab is a fungal disease that mars the surface and can cause malformed fruit. It’s generally a cosmetic problem. The taste of the fruit isn’t changed, but its appearance and storage qualities, as well as canning and drying qualities, are impaired. There are a number of different non-toxic sprays that you can use; sulfur, lime-sulfur, or Bordeaux mixture (copper sulfate plus lime). The most important cultural control of scab is good tree hygiene – cleaning up fallen leaves and fruits. For more info, download our free Pear Scab Info Sheet.

Leaf Rust & Leaf Spot are also fungal diseases, causing bright orange and black spots on the leaves. Bordeaux mixture (copper sulfate plus lime) also takes care of those two issues. Check out our blog post “Got Spots?” for more information and tips on managing it.

Apple Maggot Fly is a big problem in Seattle, and it’s hard to find an apple here that isn’t affected. Apple maggot larvae tunnel through the fruit, leaving small brownish, threadlike trails, causing the apple to become soft and rotten. There are sprays, natural predators, traps, and sanitation techniques that can help control apple maggot. Download our free Apple Maggot Info Sheet for details.

Spotted Wing Drosophila is a new-ish pest that’s made it’s way up from California. We’re still learning what it is and how to deal with it, but this blog post probably has the best information to date.

Applying Foot Socks can help prevent apple maggots and Codling Moth on apple and pear trees. Watch this short video of Don Ricks explaining proper application of “footies”.